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New model estimates width of the scrape-off layer

Prof. Robert Goldston has developed a model for reliable prediction of the outflow of heat during fusion experiments: the heuristic estimate of the width of the "scrape-off layer" in tokamaks gets close to the width measured in experiments.

The model can predict how the width of the scrape-off layer would vary as conditions such as the amount of electrical current in the plasma varied, and might help us to learn how to handle the outflow of heat from a high-power fusion reactor. Goldston concluded that for the highest performance conditions (i.e. in which ITER will operate), where turbulence is weakest, the motion of the ions is dominated by non-turbulent drift effects.

The results are publish in the Journal of Nuclear physics and were presented recently at the 20th Annual International Conference on Plasma Surface Interactions in Aachen, Germany.