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Title: Developing the science and technology for the Material Plasma Exposure eXperiment

Linear plasma generators are cost effective facilities to simulate divertor plasma conditions of present and future fusion reactors. They are used to address important R&D gaps in the science of plasma material interactions and towards viable plasma facing components for fusion reactors. Next generation plasma generators have to be able to access the plasma conditions expected on the divertor targets in ITER and future devices. The steady-state linear plasma device MPEX will address this regime with electron temperatures of 1–10 eV and electron densities of $$10^{21}{\text{}}\!-\!10^{20}$$ $${\rm m}^{-3}$$. The resulting heat fluxes are about 10 MW $${\rm m}^{-2}$$ . MPEX is designed to deliver those plasma conditions with a novel Radio Frequency plasma source able to produce high density plasmas and heat electron and ions separately with electron Bernstein wave (EBW) heating and ion cyclotron resonance heating with a total installed power of 800 kW. The linear device Proto-MPEX, forerunner of MPEX consisting of 12 water-cooled copper coils, has been operational since May 2014. Its helicon antenna (100 kW, 13.56 MHz) and EC heating systems (200 kW, 28 GHz) have been commissioned and 14 MW $${\rm m}^{-2}$$ was delivered on target. Furthermore, electron temperatures of about 20 eV have been achieved in combined helicon and ECH heating schemes at low electron densities. Overdense heating with EBW was achieved at low heating powers. The operational space of the density production by the helicon antenna was pushed up to $$1.1 \times 10^{20}$$ $${\rm m}^{-3}$$ at high magnetic fields of 1.0 T at the target. Finally, the experimental results from Proto-MPEX will be used for code validation to enable predictions of the source and heating performance for MPEX. MPEX, in its last phase, will be capable to expose neutron-irradiated samples. In this concept, targets will be irradiated in ORNL's High Flux Isotope Reactor and then subsequently exposed to fusion reactor relevant plasmas in MPEX.
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  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
  3. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
  4. Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), HeFei (China). Inst. of Plasma Physics
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nuclear Fusion
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 57; Journal Issue: 11; Journal ID: ISSN 0029-5515
IOP Science
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24)
Contributing Orgs:
the MPEX team
Country of Publication:
United States
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; plasma material interactions; linear plasma devices; divertor; nuclear materials
OSTI Identifier: