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Variation in the volumetric power and momentum losses in the JET-ILW scrape-off layer

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Nuclear Materials and Energy
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In attaining the cold plasma condition at the divertor target via gas puffing and/or nitrogen seeding, a large variation in the pressure-momentum and cooling losses has, for the first time, been demonstrated on JET with the ITER-like wall, leveraging novel target electron temperature measurements and JET’s unique capability for disentangling the main-ion-driven net dissipation effects from impurity radiation. These observations provide key insights into the dependence of volumetric losses on the dominant dissipation mechanisms, whether due to neutral-plasma interaction processes, impurity radiation induced detachment, and their interplay.

While numerical code studies indicate that both volumetric cooling and pressure-momentum losses in the scrape-off layer (SOL) are essential for detachment to occur, experimental confirmation has been largely lacking, in large part due to diagnostic limitations. In the present assessment of L-mode discharges in the diagnostically optimized outer horizontal target configuration, the onset of pressure-momentum losses in nitrogen seeding scans in low recycling conditions is shown to occur at relatively high target electron temperature of 10 eV compared to pure deuterium pressure scans, leading to a more pronounced reduction in the target heat flux, and demonstrating for the first time the importance of momentum losses in impurity radiation dominated dissipative divertors in the absence of strong neutral-plasma interactions. Conversely, a relatively constant target heat flux response is observed above Te,t = 5 eV in pure deuterium density ramps, where the decrease in Te,t is balanced by a rise in target pressure prior to the ion flux rollover, coinciding with the pressure-momentum loss onset. While in practice the relative strength of each dissipation channel will be driven by integrated scenario requirements and core plasma performance constraints, this work demonstrates that there is no universal form of the fmom-loss and fcooling volumetric loss factors and their correlation. Moreover, the results confirm the theoretical and code predictions that both volumetric loss processes are required for detachment, while also resolving an apparent, but counter-intuitive, finding of the code results that volumetric power loss is insensitive to the presence of impurities, demonstrating that this is not the case experimentally. Further interpretive modelling is required to elucidate the dominant momentum and cooling loss channels in the observed trends.