skip to main content


Title: On the inward drift of runaway electrons during the plateau phase of runaway current

The well observed inward drift of current carrying runaway electrons during runaway plateau phase after disruption is studied by considering the phase space dynamic of runaways in a large aspect ratio toroidal system. We consider the case where the toroidal field is unperturbed and the toroidal symmetry of the system is preserved. The balance between the change in canonical angular momentum and the input of mechanical angular momentum in such a system requires runaways to drift horizontally in configuration space for any given change in momentum space. The dynamic of this drift can be obtained by integrating the modified Euler-Lagrange equation over one bounce time. It is then found that runaway electrons will always drift inward as long as they are decelerating. This drift motion is essentially non-linear, since the current is carried by runaways themselves, and any runaway drift relative to the magnetic axis will cause further displacement of the axis itself. A simplified analytical model is constructed to describe such inward drift both in the ideal wall case and no wall case, and the runaway current center displacement as a function of parallel momentum variation is obtained. The time scale of such displacement is estimated by considering effectivemore » radiation drag, which shows reasonable agreement with the observed displacement time scale. Furthermore, this indicates that the phase space dynamic studied here plays a major role in the horizontal displacement of runaway electrons during plateau phase. (C) 2016 AIP Publishing LLC.« less
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Peking Univ., Beijing (China)
  2. Princeton Univ., Princeton, NJ (United States). Princeton Plasma Physics Lab.; Univ. of Science and Technology of China, Hefei (China)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X; PHPAEN
Grant/Contract Number:
2015GB111003; 1126114032; 11305171; 11575185; 11575186; AC02-09-CH11466
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 23; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; runaway electrons; disruptions; tokamaks; angular momentum; magnetic fields; synchrotron radiation; eddies
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1245033