2013 Volume 8 Pages 1402023
Spherical tokamak (ST) merging start-up for high-beta ST formation was developed in the TS-4 merging/reconnection experiment under a high external toroidal magnetic field. We optimized the formation of a stable high-beta ST (βt > 30%) by adjusting the initial parameters of two low-beta STs. We precisely analyzed the produced high-beta STs by MEUDAS using the measured and fitted profiles, and found that they exhibited low-plasma internal inductance because of a hollow current profile, a paramagnetic toroidal field, and weakly reversed shear. A pressure-driven instability analysis indicates that the merging STs become unstable when their q-values are less than 1. In the first high-power neutral beam injection experiment (#1 and #2, PNBI ∼ 0.4 MW) in TS-4, the decay time and magnetic flux of the produced STs were improved, mainly because of pre-ionization and merging/reconnection effects.