skip to main content


This content will become publicly available on March 5, 2019

Title: Control of runaway electron energy using externally injected whistler waves

One way of mitigating runaway damage of the plasma-facing components in a tokamak fusion reactor is by limiting the runaway electron energy under a few MeV, while not necessarily reducing the runaway current appreciably. Here in this paper, we describe a physics mechanism by which such momentum space engineering of the runaway distribution can be facilitated by externally injected high-frequency electromagnetic waves such as whistler waves. The drastic impact that wave-induced scattering can have on the runaway energy distribution is fundamentally the result of its ability to control the runaway vortex in the momentum space. The runaway vortex, which is a local circulation of runaways in momentum space, is the outcome of the competition between Coulomb collisions, synchrotron radiation damping, and runaway acceleration by the parallel electric field. By introducing a wave that resonantly interacts with runaways in a particular range of energies which is mildly relativistic, the enhanced scattering would reshape the vortex by cutting off the part that is highly relativistic. The efficiency of resonant scattering accentuates the requirement that the wave amplitude can be small so the power requirement from external wave injection is practical for the mitigation scheme.
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Physics of Plasmas
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 25; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 1070-664X
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) (SC-21)
Country of Publication:
United States
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; Magnetic Fusion Energy; runaway electrons
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1423722