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This content will become publicly available on January 15, 2019

Title: Use of reconstructed 3D equilibria to determine onset conditions of helical cores in tokamaks for extrapolation to ITER

The threshold for spontaneous symmetry breaking, which results in growth of m/n = 1/1 helical cores, in tokamaks is determined using VMEC. This model is based on a DIII-D hybrid discharge with helical core, and it predicts ITER (15MA scenario) to operate far in the helical core formation regime. Helical cores can only exist in tokamak discharges with monotonic but low, or reversed q-shear and qmin 1 in the core. The helical core is a saturated internal kink mode; its onset threshold is proportional to (dp/d)/B 2 t around q = 1. Below the threshold, applied 3-D fields can drive a helical core to finite size, as in DIIID. Above it, a random 3-D kick causes a bifurcation from axisymmetry and excites a spontaneous helical core. Helical cores occur frequently in C-Mod due to impurities; modeling shows the axisymmetric equilibrium becomes unstable at the end of the current ramp up due to the slow current penetration and a resultant reversed shear q-profile, which lowers the threshold. Lastly, a comparison of the helical core onset threshold for discharges from DIII-D, C-Mod and ITER confirms that while DIII-D is marginally stable, C-Mod and especially ITER are highly susceptible to helical core formation.
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Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FC02-04ER54698; AC05-00OR22725; AC02-09CH11466
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nuclear Fusion
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 58; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 0029-5515
IOP Science
Research Org:
General Atomics, San Diego, CA (United States); Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1375431