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Title: TGLF Recalibration for ITER Standard Case Parameters FY2015: Theory and Simulation Performance Target Final Report

This work was motivated by the observation, as early as 2008, that GYRO simulations of some ITER operating scenarios exhibited nonlinear zonal-flow generation large enough to effectively quench turbulence inside r /a ~ 0.5. This observation of flow-dominated, low-transport states persisted even as more accurate and comprehensive predictions of ITER profiles were made using the state-of-the-art TGLF transport model. This core stabilization is in stark contrast to GYRO-TGLF comparisons for modern-day tokamaks, for which GYRO and TGLF are typically in very close agreement. So, we began to suspect that TGLF needed to be generalized to include the effect of zonal-flow stabilization in order to be more accurate for the conditions of reactor simulations. While the precise cause of the GYRO-TGLF discrepancy for ITER parameters was not known, it was speculated that closeness to threshold in the absence of driven rotation, as well as electromagnetic stabilization, created conditions more sensitive the self-generated zonal-flow stabilization than in modern tokamaks. Need for nonlinear zonal-flow stabilization: To explore the inclusion of a zonal-flow stabilization mechanism in TGLF, we started with a nominal ITER profile predicted by TGLF, and then performed linear and nonlinear GYRO simulations to characterize the behavior at and slightly above themore » nominal temperature gradients for finite levels of energy transport. Then, we ran TGLF on these cases to see where the discrepancies were largest. The predicted ITER profiles were indeed near to the TGLF threshold over most of the plasma core in the hybrid discharge studied (weak magnetic shear, q > 1). Scanning temperature gradients above the TGLF power balance values also showed that TGLF overpredicted the electron energy transport in the low-collisionality ITER plasma. At first (in Q3), a model of only the zonal-flow stabilization (Dimits shift) was attempted. Although we were able to construct an ad hoc model of the zonal flows that fit the GYRO simulations, the parameters of the model had to be tuned to each case. A physics basis for the zonal flow model was lacking. Electron energy transport at short wavelength: A secondary issue – the high-k electron energy flux – was initially assumed to be independent of the zonal flow effect. However, detailed studies of the fluctuation spectra from recent multiscale (electron and ion scale) GYRO simulations provided a critical new insight into the role of zonal flows. The multiscale simulations suggested that advection by the zonal flows strongly suppressed electron-scale turbulence. Radial shear of the zonal E×B fluctuation could not compete with the large electron-scale linear growth rate, but the kx-mixing rate of the E×B advection could. This insight led to a preliminary new model for the way zonal flows saturate both electron- and ion-scale turbulence. It was also discovered that the strength of the zonal E×B velocity could be computed from the linear growth rate spectrum. The new saturation model (SAT1), which replaces the original model (SAT0), was fit to the multiscale GYRO simulations as well as the ion-scale GYRO simulations used to calibrate the original SAT0 model. Thus, SAT1 captures the physics of both multiscale electron transport and zonal-flow stabilization. In future work, the SAT1 model will require significant further testing and (expensive) calibration with nonlinear multiscale gyrokinetic simulations over a wider variety of plasma conditions – certainly more than the small set of scans about a single C-Mod L-mode discharge. We believe the SAT1 model holds great promise as a physics-based model of the multiscale turbulent transport in fusion devices. Correction to ITER performance predictions: Finally, the impact of the SAT1model on the ITER hybrid case is mixed. Without the electron-scale contribution to the fluxes, the Dimits shift makes a significant improvement in the predicted fusion power as originally posited. Alas, including the high-k electron transport reduces the improvement, yielding a modest net increase in predicted fusion power compared to the TGLF prediction with the original SAT0 model.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. General Atomics, San Diego, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1272155
Report Number(s):
GA--A28239
TRN: US1601652
DOE Contract Number:
FG02-95ER54309
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
General Atomics, San Diego, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES) (SC-24)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ITER TOKAMAK; ELECTRONS; TRANSPORT THEORY; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; STABILIZATION; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; NONLINEAR PROBLEMS; ADVECTION; ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS; FLUCTUATIONS; FORECASTING; PERFORMANCE; PLASMA; TURBULENCE; FLOW MODELS; TEMPERATURE GRADIENTS; SHEAR; CALIBRATION; CORRECTIONS; CHARGED-PARTICLE TRANSPORT; TESTING; VELOCITY; T CODES; G CODES