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Title: Recent Progress on Spherical Torus Research

The spherical torus or spherical tokamak (ST) is a member of the tokamak family with its aspect ratio (A = R0/a) reduced to A ~ 1.5, well below the normal tokamak operating range of A ≥ 2.5. As the aspect ratio is reduced, the ideal tokamak beta β (radio of plasma to magnetic pressure) stability limit increases rapidly, approximately as β ~ 1/A. The plasma current it can sustain for a given edge safety factor q-95 also increases rapidly. Because of the above, as well as the natural elongation κ, which makes its plasma shape appear spherical, the ST configuration can yield exceptionally high tokamak performance in a compact geometry. Due to its compactness and high performance, the ST configuration has various near term applications, including a compact fusion neutron source with low tritium consumption, in addition to its longer term goal of attractive fusion energy power source. Since the start of the two megaampere class ST facilities in 2000, National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) in the US and Mega Ampere Spherical Tokamak (MAST) in UK, active ST research has been conducted worldwide. More than sixteen ST research facilities operating during this period have achieved remarkable advances in all ofmore » fusion science areas, involving fundamental fusion energy science as well as innovation. These results suggest exciting future prospects for ST research both near term and longer term. The present paper reviews the scientific progress made by the worldwide ST research community during this new mega-ampere-ST era.« less
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  1. PPPL
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Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Physics of Plasmas
Research Org:
Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. (PPPL), Princeton, NJ (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States