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Validation of D-T fusion power prediction capability against 2021 JET D-T experiments


JET experiments using the fuel mixture envisaged for fusion power plants, deuterium and tritium (D–T), provide a unique opportunity to validate existing D–T fusion power prediction capabilities in support of future device design and operation preparation. The 2021 JET D–T experimental campaign has achieved D–T fusion powers sustained over 5 s in ITER-relevant conditions i.e. operation with the baseline or hybrid scenario in the full metallic wall. In preparation of the 2021 JET D–T experimental campaign, extensive D–T predictive modelling was carried out with several assumptions based on D discharges. To improve the validity of ITER D–T predictive modelling in the future, it is important to use the input data measured from 2021 JET D–T discharges in the present core predictive modelling, and to specify the accuracy of the D–T fusion power prediction in comparison with the experiments. This paper reports on the validation of the core integrated modelling with TRANSP, JINTRAC, and ETS coupled with a quasilinear turbulent transport model (Trapped Gyro Landau Fluid or QualLiKiz) against the measured data in 2021 JET D–T discharges. Detailed simulation settings and the heating and transport models used are described. The D–T fusion power calculated with the interpretive TRANSP runs for 38 D–T discharges (12 baseline and 26 hybrid discharges) reproduced the measured values within 20%. This indicates the additional uncertainties, that could result from the measurement error bars in kinetic profiles, impurity contents and neutron rates, and also from the beam-thermal fusion reaction modelling, are less than 20% in total. The good statistical agreement confirms that we have the capability to accurately calculate the D–T fusion power if correct kinetic profiles are predicted, and indicates that any larger deviation of the D–T fusion power prediction from the measured fusion power could be attributed to the deviation of the predicted kinetic profiles from the measured kinetic profiles in these plasma scenarios. Without any posterior adjustment of the simulation settings, the ratio of predicted D–T fusion power to the measured fusion power was found as 65%–96% for the D–T baseline and 81%–97% for D–T hybrid discharge. Possible reasons for the lower D–T prediction are discussed and future works to improve the fusion power prediction capability are suggested. The D–T predictive modelling results have also been compared to the predictive modelling of the counterpart D discharges, where the key engineering parameters are similar. Features in the predicted kinetic profiles of D–T discharges such as underprediction of n e are also found in the prediction results of the counterpart D discharges, and it leads to similar levels of the normalized neutron rate prediction between the modelling results of D–T and the counterpart D discharges. This implies that the credibility of D–T fusion power prediction could be a priori estimated by the prediction quality of the preparatory D discharges, which will be attempted before actual D–T experiments.

Year of Publication
Nuclear Fusion
Number of Pages
Alternate Journal
Nucl. Fusion
Journal Article
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