Scrape-off layer modeling with kinetic or diffusion description of charge-exchange atoms

M. Z. Tokar
2016 Physics of Plasmas  
Hydrogen isotope atoms, generated by charge-exchange (c-x) of neutral particles recycling from the first wall of a fusion reactor, are described either kinetically or in a diffusion approximation. In a one-dimensional (1-D) geometry, kinetic calculations are accelerated enormously by applying an approximate pass method for the assessment of integrals in the velocity space. This permits to perform an exhaustive comparison of calculations done with both approaches. The diffusion approximation is
more » ... n approximation is deduced directly from the velocity distribution function of c-x atoms in the limit of charge-exchanges with ions occurring much more frequently than ionization by electrons. The profiles across the flux surfaces of the plasma parameters averaged along the main part of the scrapeoff layer (SOL), beyond the X-point and divertor regions, are calculated from the one-dimensional equations where parallel flows of charged particles and energy towards the divertor are taken into account as additional loss terms. It is demonstrated that the heat losses can be firmly estimated from the SOL averaged parameters only; for the particle loss the conditions in the divertor are of importance and the sensitivity of the results to the so-called "divertor impact factor" is investigated. The coupled 1-D models for neutral and charged species, with c-x atoms described either kinetically or in the diffusion approximation, are applied to assess the SOL conditions in a fusion reactor, with the input parameters from the European DEMO project. It is shown that the diffusion approximation provides practically the same profiles across the flux surfaces for the plasma density, electron, and ion temperatures, as those obtained with the kinetic description for c-x atoms. The main difference between the two approaches is observed in the characteristics of these species themselves. In particular, their energy flux onto the wall is underestimated in calculations with the diffusion approximation by 20%-30%. This discrepancy can be significantly reduced if after the convergence of coupled plasma-neutral calculations, the final computation for c-x atoms is done kinetically. Published by AIP Publishing. [http://dx.
doi:10.1063/1.4972538 fatcat:ksyc6icsevbutgpg2urk4552m4