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Operating a full tungsten actively cooled tokamak: overview of WEST first phase of operation...

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Nuclear Fusion
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WEST is an MA class superconducting, actively cooled, full tungsten (W) tokamak, designed to operate in long pulses up to 1000 s. In support of ITER operation and DEMO conceptual activities, key missions of WEST are: (i) qualification of high heat flux plasma-facing components in integrating both technological and physics aspects in relevant heat and particle exhaust conditions, particularly for the tungsten monoblocks foreseen in ITER divertor; (ii) integrated steady-state operation at high confinement, with a focus on power exhaust issues. During the phase 1 of operation (2017–2020), a set of actively cooled ITER-grade plasma facing unit prototypes was integrated into the inertially cooled W coated startup lower divertor. Up to 8.8 MW of RF power has been coupled to the plasma and divertor heat flux of up to 6 MW m−2 were reached. Long pulse operation was started, using the upper actively cooled divertor, with a discharge of about 1 min achieved. This paper gives an overview of the results achieved in phase 1. Perspectives for phase 2, operating with the full capability of the device with the complete ITER-grade actively cooled lower divertor, are also described.