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From the same journal

Edge localized mode physics and operational aspects in tokamaks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • M Becoulet
  • G Huysmans
  • Y Sarazin
  • X Garbet
  • P Ghendrih
  • F Rimini
  • E Joffrin
  • X Litaudon
  • P Monier-Garbet
  • J M Ane
  • P Thomas
  • A Grosman
  • V Parail
  • H Wilson
  • P Lomas
  • P DeVries
  • K D Zastrow
  • G F Matthews
  • J Lonnroth
  • S Gerasimov
  • S Sharapov
  • M Gryaznevich
  • G Counsell
  • A Kirk
  • M Valovic
  • R Buttery
  • A Loarte
  • G Saibene
  • R Sartori
  • A Leonard
  • P Snyder
  • L L Lao
  • P Gohil
  • T E Evans
  • R A Moyer
  • Y Kamada
  • A Chankin
  • N Oyama
  • T Hatae
  • N Asakura
  • O Tudisco
  • E Giovannozzi
  • F Crisanti
  • C P Perez
  • H R Koslowski
  • T Eich
  • A Sips
  • L Horton
  • A Hermann
  • P Lang
  • JET-EFDA Workprogramme


Publication details

JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
DatePublished - Dec 2003
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)A93-A113
Original languageEnglish


Recent progress in experimental and theoretical studies of edge localized mode (ELM) physics is reviewed for the reactor relevant plasma regimes, namely the high confinement regimes, that is, H-modes and advanced scenarios.

Theoretical approaches to ELM physics, from a linear ideal magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) stability analysis to non-linear transport models with ELMS are discussed with respect to experimental observations, in particular the fast collapse of pedestal pressure profiles, magnetic measurements and scrape-off layer transport during ELMs.

High confinement regimes with different types of ELMs are addressed in this paper in the context of development of operational scenarios for ITER. The key parameters that have been identified at present to reduce the energy losses in Type I ELMS are operation at high density, high edge magnetic shear and high triangularity. However, according to the present experimental scaling for the energy losses in Type I ELMs, the extrapolation of such regimes for ITER leads to unacceptably large heat loads on the divertor target plates exceeding the material limits. High confinement H-mode scenarios at high triangularity and high density with small ELMs (Type II), mixed regimes (Type II and Type I) and combined advanced regimes at high beta(p) are discussed for present-day tokamaks. The optimum combination of high confinement and small MHD activity at the edge in Type II ELM scenarios is of interest to ITER. However, to date, these regimes have been achieved in a rather narrow operational window and far from ITER parameters in terms of collisionality, edge safety factor and beta(p).

The compatibility of the alternative internal transport barrier (ITB) scenario with edge pedestal formation and ELMs is also addressed. Edge physics issues related to the possible combination of small benign ELMs (Type III, Type II ELMs, quiescent double barrier) and high performance ITBs are discussed for present-day experiments (JET, JT-60U, DIII-D) in terms of their relevance for ITER. Successful plasma edge control, at high triangularity (similar to0.5) and high density (similar to0.7n(GR)), in ITB scenarios in JET is reported.

Active control of ELMs by edge current, pellet injection, impurities and external magnetic perturbations creating an ergodic zone localized at the separatrix are discussed for present-day experiments and from the perspective of future reactors.

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