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ASDEX Upgrade Letter

Recent developments and latest results around the ASDEX Upgrade fusion device

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The ASDEX Upgrade tokamak went into operation in 1991. Since then it has been working on the principles for planning and operating the ITER test reactor and is preparing for a follow-up demonstration power plant.

The third decade: research results from 2011 Zoom Image
The third decade: research results from 2011

2016 Plasma current driven completely without transformer – for the first time in a machine with an all-metal inside wall, [more]

2015 Optimised antenna for radio wave heating installed; compatibility with tungsten wall proven.

2014 Divertor manipulator installed, to replace parts of the lower divertor in between two plasma discharges.

2014 Divertor modified: Div-III. Tungsten-plated carbon tiles in the lower divertor region replaced by solid tungsten tiles.

2012 World record in power exhaust with moderate thermal load on the divertor plates, achieved by means of a sophisticated control system, [more]

2011 Successful suppression of ELMs confirmed, [more]

2010 Magnetic control coils installed on the wall of the plasma vessel, to reduce perturbing instabilities, so-called Edge Localized Modes (ELMs).

2010 Advantages of the tungsten wall confirmed: Stable, clean and thermally well-insulated plasmas, nitrogen cooling of the plasma boundary, [more]

The second decade: research results from 2001 to 2010 Zoom Image
The second decade: research results from 2001 to 2010

2007 Last carbon tile replaced. Experiments are starting in the world's first and only device with a wall completely clad with tungsten, [more]

May 2005 Twenty-thousandth plasma discharge

2004 "Improved H-regime": A plasma state with very favourable properties, new device record of 1.5 megajoule for the energy content of the plasma, [more]

2003 ITER reference scenario realised

2003 Divertor modified: Divertor IIb allows more flexible shaping of the magnetic field

2002 "Europeanisation": ASDEX Upgrade was opened to use by fusion laboratories from all over Europe, [more]

2000 Plasma current driven completely without transformer

10 years of research – results from 1991 to 2000 Zoom Image
10 years of research – results from 1991 to 2000

1999 Plasma instability (neoclassical tearing modes) eradicated by beaming microwaves to the right spot in the plasma, [more]

1998 Good thermal insulation of the H-regime once again improved: Advanced Scenarios. The high thermal insulation of the H-regime by a transport barrier at the plasma edge now combined with improved confinement in the plasma centre

1998 Second stage of plasma heating by neutral injection put into operation. Heating power increased from 16 to 26 megawatts

1997 Divertor modified: Optimised power exhaust with closed Divertor II (Lyra shape).

1996 Pioneering work: The first parts of the wall – formerly covered completely with carbon tiles – were coated with tungsten. Proven: High-quality plasmas and tungsten as wall material are compatible with each other in a divertor tokamak.

1994 Microwave heating for local plasma heating put into operation (goals include suppression of instabilities, central heating)

1993 Pellet centrifuge put into operation. To replenish the plasma little cubes of frozen hydrogen are injected.

1993 Experiments with neutral injection heating started.

June 1992 Plasma discharge #01593: Plasma attained for the first time the H-regime (by means of radio wave heating).

1992 Experiments with radio wave heating started.

March 21, 1991 First plasma

Autumn 1990 Assembly completed; commissioning started: testing of all technical systems.

May 1988 Assembly started

1984 First contract for manufacture of the main components, viz. plasma vessel, magnet coils and their support structure, awarded.

1981 Planning of ASDEX Upgrade initiated. A team of about 25 physicists and engineers to design the research facility.

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