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Overview of physics results from MAST

Lloyd, B. and Akers, R.J. and Alladio, F. and Andrew, Y. and Appel, L.C. and Applegate, D. and Axon, K.B. and Ben Ayed, N. and Foster, A. (2007) Overview of physics results from MAST. Nuclear Fusion, 47 (10). S658-S667. ISSN 0029-5515

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Abstract

Substantial advances have been made on the Mega Ampère Spherical Tokamak (MAST). The parameter range of the MAST confinement database has been extended and it now also includes pellet-fuelled discharges. Good pellet retention has been observed in H-mode discharges without triggering an ELM or an H/L transition during peripheral ablation of low speed pellets. Co-ordinated studies on MAST and DIII-D demonstrate a strong link between the aspect ratio and the beta scaling of H-mode energy confinement, consistent with that obtained when MAST data were merged with a subset of the ITPA database. Electron and ion ITBs are readily formed and their evolution has been investigated. Electron and ion thermal diffusivities have been reduced to values close to the ion neoclassical level. Error field correction coils have been used to determine the locked mode threshold scaling which is comparable to that in conventional aspect ratio tokamaks. The impact of plasma rotation on sawteeth has been investigated and the results have been well-modelled using the MISHKA-F code. Alfvén cascades have been observed in discharges with reversed magnetic shear. Measurements during off-axis NBCD and heating are consistent with classical fast ion modelling and indicate efficient heating and significant driven current. Central electron Bernstein wave heating has been observed via the O-X-B mode conversion process in special magnetically compressed plasmas. Plasmas with low pedestal collisionality have been established and further insight has been gained into the characteristics of filamentary structures at the plasma edge. Complex behaviour of the divertor power loading during plasma disruptions has been revealed by high resolution infra-red measurements.