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Simulation of the TAEs' saturation phase in the Large Helical Device: MHD burst...

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Nuclear Fusion
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The aim of the present study is to analyze the saturation regime of the toroidal Alfven eigenmodes (TAE) in the Large Helical Device plasma, particularly the MHD burst. The linear and nonlinear evolution of the TAEs are simulated by the FAR3d code that uses a reduced MHD model for the thermal plasma coupled with a gyrofluid model for the energetic particle (EP) species. The linear simulations indicate the overlapping of 1/2 − 1/1, 2/3–2/4 and 3/5–3/6 TAEs in the inner-middle plasma region and frequency range of 45–75 kHz, triggered by EPs with an energy of Tf = 45 keV and EP β = 0.022. The nonlinear simulations show that 2/3–2/4 and 3/4–3/5 TAEs are further destabilized due to the energy transfer from the 1/1–1/2 TAE, leading to broad TAE radial overlapping and triggering of the MHD burst. The energy of the 1/1–1/2 TAE is also nonlinearly transferred to the thermal plasma destabilizing the 0/0 and 0/1 modes, inducing the generation of shear flows and zonal currents, as well as large deformations in the thermal pressure and EP density radial profiles. The nonlinear simulation reproduces the same succession of instabilities and the same frequency range with respect to the experiment. The instability propagates outward during the bursting phase, showing a large decrease of the EP density profile between the middle-outer plasma, indicating the loss of part of the EP population that explains the decrease in the plasma heating efficiency observed during the MHD burst.