Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
Friday, December 9, 2016
Abstract: The NSTX Upgrade (NSTX-U) team recently completed a scientifically productive research campaign with 10 run weeks of operation. NSTX-U achieved H-mode on the 8th day of operation, surpassed the maximum magnetic field and pulse-duration of NSTX, matched the best NSTX H-mode performance at ~1MA, identified and corrected dominant error fields, and commissioned all magnetic and kinetic profile diagnostics. In addition to the new centerstack of NSTX-U which will ultimately double the maximum field and current capability relative to NSTX, NSTX-U also has a more tangential second neutral beam injector (NBI). NSTX-U researchers discovered this 2nd NBI can suppress Global Alfven Eigenmodes (GAE) which have previously been observed to influence core thermal electron transport. Thus the 2nd NBI may provide means of modifying fast-ion and thermal transport in additional to controlling rotation and current profiles. Finally, NSTX-U researchers implemented new techniques for controlled plasma shut down and disruption detection and commissioned new tools for disruption mitigation. The 2016 run campaign was interrupted by an internal short in a divertor poloidal field coil and the NSTX-U team is actively developing a recovery strategy. NSTX-U results and future plans will be described.
Bio: Dr. Jonathan Menard, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), is presently the Program Director for the National Spherical Torus eXperiment – Upgrade (NSTX-U) and is responsible for guiding the scientific research program of NSTX-U working with the NSTX-U national research team. Dr. Menard’s research interests include the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equilibrium and stability properties of spherical torus (ST) and tokamak plasmas, advanced operating scenarios in the ST, and the development of next-step options for fusion energy. Dr. Menard received a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992 and a Ph.D. in plasma physics from the Princeton University Department of Astrophysical Sciences in 1998. He conducted post-doctoral research at PPPL before joining the research staff in 1999. Among his honors, Menard was awarded a U.S. Department of Energy Magnetic Fusion Science Fellowship in 1993, the Princeton University Honorific Fellowship in 1996, received the “Best Student Paper” award from the American Nuclear Society Fusion Energy Division in 1998, received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2004, was a recipient of the Kaul Prize in 2006, was named a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2010, and was the co-winner of an R&D 100 award in 2012.