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Status of the Prototype Material Plasma Exposure Experiment (Proto-MPEX) at ORNL

Author: Theodore M Biewer
Requested Type: Consider for Invited
Submitted: 2014-05-30 11:02:29

Co-authors: T.M. Biewer, T.S. Bigelow, J.M. Canik, J. Caughman, R. Goulding, T.K. Gray, J.D. Lore, L.W. Owen, P. Piotrowicz, H. Ray, G. Shaw, J. Rapp

Contact Info:
Oak Ridge National Lab.
PO Box 2008
Oak Ridge, TN   37831

Abstract Text:
Engineering materials that can survive the harsh environment of a fusion reactor is a challenging problem facing the magnetically confined plasma community. This problem is most severe, in some ways, for the plasma facing components (PFCs) in the divertor region of current and planned toroidal magnetic confinement geometries, such as ITER. ORNL has constructed a linear test stand, called the prototype Plasma Materials Exposure eXperiment (Proto-MPEX), to simulate the conditions that will be experienced by material surfaces in the divertors of tokamak devices. Proto-MPEX is an evolution from the Physics Integration eXperiment (PhIX) at ORNL, and has recently begun operations. The plasma is produced and heated in Proto-MPEX by a planned combination of helicon waves (up to 100 kW), microwave and EBW power (up to 200 kW), and ICRF heating (up to 200 kW). The goals of Proto-MPEX include demonstrating the enabling technology in “short pulse” that can be scaled to quasi-steady state operation of a proposed MPEX device for plasma-materials interaction (PMI) studies. Part of this effort is an expanded diagnostic suite for Proto-MPEX that can be transferred to MPEX. Plasma diagnostics include a Thomson Scattering system, optical emission spectroscopy, microwave interferometry, rf-compensated Langmuir probes, a retarding-field analyzer, and gas analysis. Material surface diagnostics include in situ Laser Induced Break-down Spectroscopy (LIBS), IR imaging, and ex situ surface analysis. Results from initial operation of these diagnostics on Proto-MPEX will be presented. These measurements will be used to validate comprehensive modeling of the device performance, and the implications for scaling from Proto-MPEX to MPEX.

This work was supported by the US. D.O.E. contracts DE-AC05-00OR22725, and sponsored by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, managed by UT-Battelle, LLC, for the U.S. D.O.E.

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