Study of Runaway Electron Generation Process During Major Disruptions in JET

The analysis of a large number of JET disruptions has provided further data on the trends of the disruption induced runaway process in large tokamaks. The role of primary runaway electrons generated at the thermal quench has been examined to assess their influence on secondary avalanching, which is recognized as a main source of large runaway currents created during disruptions. The tomographic reconstruction of the soft X-ray emission during the thermal quench has made possible the observation of the magnetic flux geometry evolution and the locating of the most probable zones for generation and confinement of the primary runaway electrons. Runaway currents have been found to increase with toroidal magnetic field and pre-disruption plasma current values. The average conversion efficiency is approximately 40-45% at a wide range of plasma currents. This agrees well with results of numerical simulations, which predict similar conversion rates at an assumed post-disruption plasma electron temperature of 10eV. The experimental trends and numerical simulations show that runaway electrons might be an issue for ITER and therefore it remains prudent to develop mitigation methods, which suppress runaway generation.
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