On the 18th of December current was raised in the divertor coils and the very first X-point plasma was obtained in the WEST tokamak.
After the summer shutdown, plasma operations were resumed on the 24th of October. The modifications on the passive stabilizing structures were fruitful and the plasma current could be ramped above 50 kA promptly indicating a stable magnetic configuration. However at that stage most of the current was carried by runaway electrons. After an extensive vessel conditioning by deuterium glow discharge cleaning, a narrow window in neutral pressure was found and on the 8th of December the current could be raised in limiter configuration up to 500 kA and controlled during a couple of seconds. Afterwards, divertor coils entered into action and an X-point configuration was reached.
The experiments will continue until February 2018 when the machine will be stopped notably for the insertion of the ITER-like plasma facing unit provided by F4E.
This major milestone and collective result nicely conclude the 2017 activity of IRFM and the WEST members!
Last update : 02/13 2018 (59)