Plasma eruptions in tokamaks, called edge localised modes, or ELMs, are a major concern for the next step tokamak fusion device ITER. Extrapolating the largest (and most common) eruptions from today’s tokamaks to ITER conditions indicates that they would cause excessive erosion of the exhaust components when ITER operates at its full fusion performance. It is therefore essential that we learn more about the mechanisms of ELMs, and how to control them.
My project will develop ideal magneto-hydrodynamics models of the ELMs, exploring both their linear and non-linear properties. It will involve extending an existing linear stability code, called ELITE, to include conditions associated with large current density. The project will also explore coupling between so-called internal and edge transport barriers in tokamaks. Nonlinear simulations of ELMs using the BOUT++ code will attempt to quantify the associated heat loads for ITER, and seek regimes where these are small.