NSTX plasma operation with a Liquid Lithium Divertor

H. W. Kugel, J. P. Allain, M. G. Bell, R. E. Bell, A. Diallo, R. Ellis, S. P. Gerhardt, B. Heim, M. A. Jaworski, R. Kaita, J. Kallman, S. Kaye, B. P. Leblanc, R. Maingi, A. McLean, J. Menard, D. Mueller, R. Nygren, M. Ono, S. F. PaulR. Raman, A. L. Roquemore, S. A. Sabbagh, H. Schneider, C. H. Skinner, V. A. Soukhanovskii, C. N. Taylor, J. R. Timberlake, M. Viola, L. Zakharov

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69 Scopus citations


NSTX 2010 experiments were conducted using a molybdenum Liquid Lithium Divertor (LLD) surface installed on the outer part of the lower divertor. This tested the effectiveness of maintaining the deuterium retention properties of a static liquid lithium surface when refreshed by lithium evaporation as an approximation to a flowing liquid lithium surface. The LLD molybdenum front face has a 45% porosity to provide sufficient wetting to spread 37 g of lithium, and to retain it in the presence of magnetic forces. Lithium Evaporators were used to deposit lithium on the LLD surface. At the beginning of discharges, the LLD lithium surface ranged from solid to liquefied depending on the amount of applied and plasma heating. Noteworthy improvements in plasma performance were obtained similar to those obtained previously with lithiated graphite, e.g., ELM-free, quiescent edge, H-modes. During these experiments with the plasma outer strike point on the LLD, the rate of deuterium retention in the LLD, as indicated by the fueling needed to achieve and maintain stable plasma conditions, was the about the same as that for solid lithium coatings on the graphite prior to the installation of the LLD, i.e., about two times that of no-lithium conditions. The role of lithium impurities in this result is discussed. Following the 2010 experimental campaign, inspection of the LLD found mechanical damage to the plate supports, and other hardware resulting from forces following plasma current disruptions. The LLD was removed, upgraded, and reinstalled. A row of molybdenum tiles was installed inboard of the LLD for 2011 experiments with both inner and outer strike points on lithiated molybdenum to allow investigation of lithium plasma facing issues encountered in the first testing of the LLD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1724-1731
Number of pages8
JournalFusion Engineering and Design
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering


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