Solid hydrogen pellet injection into the ormak tokamak

C. A. Foster, R. J. Colchin, S. L. Milora, K. Kim, R. J. Turnbull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Solid hydrogen spheres were injected into the ORMAK tokamak as a test of pellet refuelling for tokamak fusion reactors. Pellets 70 μm and 210 μm in diameter were injected with speeds of 91 m/s and 100 m/s, respectively. Each of the 210-μm pellets added about 1% to the number of particles contained in the plasma. Excited neutrals, ablated from these hydrogen spheres, emitted light, which was monitored either by a photomultiplier or by a high-speed framing camera. From these light signals it was possible to measure pellet lifetimes, ablation rates, and the spatial distribution of hydrogen atoms in the ablation clouds. The average measured lifetime of the 70-μm pellets was 422 μs, and the 210-μm spheres lasted 880 μs under bombardment by the plasma. These lifetimes and measured ablation rates are in good agreement with a theoretical model which takes into account shielding of plasma electrons by hydrogen atoms ablated from spherical hydrogen ice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1067-1075
Number of pages9
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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