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WEST

Tungsten (W) Environment in Steady-state Tokamak

The WEST (Tungsten (W) Environment in Steady-state Tokamak) is upgrade of Tore-Supra which aims at transforming it into an X-point magnetic configuration tokamak. With tungsten plasma facing components combined with the Tore-Supra's long pulse active cooling capability and high confinement plasma operation, WEST can offer the key capability of testing the ITER technology of high heat flux components in real plasma environment. The testing of tungsten plasma facing components constitutes the main headline of the WEST project. Besides, the ITER reference scenario and the control of plasma wall interactions could also be studied.

The divertor is a crucial component as it handles the largest particle and heat loads from the plasma, and allows access to high plasma confinement regimes (H mode). For ITER, the divertor plasma facing material should be Tungsten at least in the nuclear phase. As tungsten has been less extensively studied in tokamaks than other materials such as carbon, implementing a full Tungsten divertor in ITER brings risks both in terms of industrial procurement and operation. From the procurement standpoint, WEST will require for the first time the fabrication at industrial scale of a large number of ITER like tungsten components, contributing to the optimization of the series manufacturing process for ITER.From the operation standpoint, WEST will allow to perform an accelerated lifetime test of the tungsten components in tokamak conditions thanks to its long pulse capability, and to detect potential operational issues in advance of ITER exploitation.

For the first time, the WEST project will enable researchers to run the ITER reference scenario for several hundreds of seconds, covering the full range of time constants involved in tokamak physics. WEST will contribute to identifying the physics mechanisms behind the formation of the H-mode transport barrier which is still not fully understood, and will develop original control tools to sustain the H-mode over long durations. WEST will also provide for the first time an ITER relevant tungsten actively cooled environment, in complement with the experiments in ASDEX Upgrade or JET on inertial tungsten components.

"I am finally sure that WEST will shed new light on tokamak physics, operation and technology and on their mandatory integration to make ITER a success." said Pro. Alain Becoulet, head of the Magnetic Fusion Research Institute and of the Euratom-CEA Association Research Unit.

Tungsten (W) Environment in Steady-state Tokamak


 
 
 

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