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  • Meyer, H.F., et al. (författare)
  • Overview of physics studies on ASDEX Upgrade
  • 2019
  • Ingår i: Nuclear Fusion. - 0029-5515. ; 59:11
  • Forskningsöversikt (refereegranskat)abstract
    • The ASDEX Upgrade (AUG) programme, jointly run with the EUROfusion MST1 task force, continues to significantly enhance the physics base of ITER and DEMO. Here, the full tungsten wall is a key asset for extrapolating to future devices. The high overall heating power, flexible heating mix and comprehensive diagnostic set allows studies ranging from mimicking the scrape-off-layer and divertor conditions of ITER and DEMO at high density to fully non-inductive operation (q 95 = 5.5, ) at low density. Higher installed electron cyclotron resonance heating power 6 MW, new diagnostics and improved analysis techniques have further enhanced the capabilities of AUG. Stable high-density H-modes with MW m-1 with fully detached strike-points have been demonstrated. The ballooning instability close to the separatrix has been identified as a potential cause leading to the H-mode density limit and is also found to play an important role for the access to small edge-localized modes (ELMs). Density limit disruptions have been successfully avoided using a path-oriented approach to disruption handling and progress has been made in understanding the dissipation and avoidance of runaway electron beams. ELM suppression with resonant magnetic perturbations is now routinely achieved reaching transiently . This gives new insight into the field penetration physics, in particular with respect to plasma flows. Modelling agrees well with plasma response measurements and a helically localised ballooning structure observed prior to the ELM is evidence for the changed edge stability due to the magnetic perturbations. The impact of 3D perturbations on heat load patterns and fast-ion losses have been further elaborated. Progress has also been made in understanding the ELM cycle itself. Here, new fast measurements of and E r allow for inter ELM transport analysis confirming that E r is dominated by the diamagnetic term even for fast timescales. New analysis techniques allow detailed comparison of the ELM crash and are in good agreement with nonlinear MHD modelling. The observation of accelerated ions during the ELM crash can be seen as evidence for the reconnection during the ELM. As type-I ELMs (even mitigated) are likely not a viable operational regime in DEMO studies of 'natural' no ELM regimes have been extended. Stable I-modes up to have been characterised using -feedback. Core physics has been advanced by more detailed characterisation of the turbulence with new measurements such as the eddy tilt angle - measured for the first time - or the cross-phase angle of and fluctuations. These new data put strong constraints on gyro-kinetic turbulence modelling. In addition, carefully executed studies in different main species (H, D and He) and with different heating mixes highlight the importance of the collisional energy exchange for interpreting energy confinement. A new regime with a hollow profile now gives access to regimes mimicking aspects of burning plasma conditions and lead to nonlinear interactions of energetic particle modes despite the sub-Alfvénic beam energy. This will help to validate the fast-ion codes for predicting ITER and DEMO.
  • Justice, A. E., et al. (författare)
  • Genome-wide meta-analysis of 241,258 adults accounting for smoking behaviour identifies novel loci for obesity traits
  • 2017
  • Ingår i: Nature Communications. - 2041-1723. ; 8
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Few genome-wide association studies (GWAS) account for environmental exposures, like smoking, potentially impacting the overall trait variance when investigating the genetic contribution to obesity-related traits. Here, we use GWAS data from 51,080 current smokers and 190,178 nonsmokers (87% European descent) to identify loci influencing BMI and central adiposity, measured as waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio both adjusted for BMI. We identify 23 novel genetic loci, and 9 loci with convincing evidence of gene-smoking interaction (GxSMK) on obesity-related traits. We show consistent direction of effect for all identified loci and significance for 18 novel and for 5 interaction loci in an independent study sample. These loci highlight novel biological functions, including response to oxidative stress, addictive behaviour, and regulatory functions emphasizing the importance of accounting for environment in genetic analyses. Our results suggest that tobacco smoking may alter the genetic susceptibility to overall adiposity and body fat distribution.
  • Graff, Mariaelisa, et al. (författare)
  • Genome-wide physical activity interactions in adiposity. A meta-analysis of 200,452 adults
  • 2017
  • Ingår i: PLoS Genet. - 1553-7404. ; 13:4
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Physical activity (PA) may modify the genetic effects that give rise to increased risk of obesity. To identify adiposity loci whose effects are modified by PA, we performed genome-wide interaction meta-analyses of BMI and BMI-adjusted waist circumference and waist-hip ratio from up to 200,452 adults of European (n = 180,423) or other ancestry (n = 20,029). We standardized PA by categorizing it into a dichotomous variable where, on average, 23% of participants were categorized as inactive and 77% as physically active. While we replicate the interaction with PA for the strongest known obesity-risk locus in the FTO gene, of which the effect is attenuated by ~30% in physically active individuals compared to inactive individuals, we do not identify additional loci that are sensitive to PA. In additional genome-wide meta-analyses adjusting for PA and interaction with PA, we identify 11 novel adiposity loci, suggesting that accounting for PA or other environmental factors that contribute to variation in adiposity may facilitate gene discovery.
  • Pinkney, T., et al. (författare)
  • Relationship between method of anastomosis and anastomotic failure after right hemicolectomy and ileo-caecal resection : an international snapshot audit
  • 2017
  • Ingår i: Colorectal Disease. - WILEY. - 1462-8910 .- 1463-1318. ; 19:8, s. e296-e311
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • <p>Aim: The anastomosis technique used following right-sided colonic resection is widely variable and may affect patient outcome. This study aimed to assess the association between leak and anastomosis technique (stapled vs handsewn).</p><p>Method: This was a prospective, multicentre, international audit including patients undergoing elective or emergency right hemicolectomy or ileo-caecal resection operations over a 2-month period in early 2015. The primary outcome measure was the presence of anastomotic leak within 30 days of surgery, determined using a prespecified definition. Mixed effects logistic regression models were used to assess the association between leak and anastomosis method, adjusting for patient, disease and operative cofactors, with centre included as a random-effect variable.</p><p>Results: This study included 3208 patients, of whom 78.4% (n = 2515) underwent surgery for malignancy and 11.7% (n = 375) underwent surgery for Crohn's disease. An anastomosis was performed in 94.8% (n = 3041) of patients, which was handsewn in 38.9% (n = 1183) and stapled in 61.1% (n = 1858). Patients undergoing hand-sewn anastomosis were more likely to be emergency admissions (20.5% handsewn vs 12.9% stapled) and to undergo open surgery (54.7% handsewn vs 36.6% stapled). The overall anastomotic leak rate was 8.1% (245/3041), which was similar following handsewn (7.4%) and stapled (8.5%) techniques (P = 0.3). After adjustment for cofactors, the odds of a leak were higher for stapled anastomosis (adjusted OR = 1.43; 95% CI: 1.04-1.95; P = 0.03).</p><p>Conclusion: Despite being used in lower-risk patients, stapled anastomosis was associated with an increased anastomotic leak rate in this observational study. Further research is needed to define patient groups in whom a stapled anastomosis is safe.</p>
  • Coda, S., et al. (författare)
  • Overview of the TCV tokamak program : Scientific progress and facility upgrades
  • 2017
  • Ingår i: Nuclear Fusion. - Institute of Physics Publishing. - 0029-5515 .- 1741-4326. ; 57:10
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • <p>The TCV tokamak is augmenting its unique historical capabilities (strong shaping, strong electron heating) with ion heating, additional electron heating compatible with high densities, and variable divertor geometry, in a multifaceted upgrade program designed to broaden its operational range without sacrificing its fundamental flexibility. The TCV program is rooted in a three-pronged approach aimed at ITER support, explorations towards DEMO, and fundamental research. A 1 MW, tangential neutral beam injector (NBI) was recently installed and promptly extended the TCV parameter range, with record ion temperatures and toroidal rotation velocities and measurable neutral-beam current drive. ITER-relevant scenario development has received particular attention, with strategies aimed at maximizing performance through optimized discharge trajectories to avoid MHD instabilities, such as peeling-ballooning and neoclassical tearing modes. Experiments on exhaust physics have focused particularly on detachment, a necessary step to a DEMO reactor, in a comprehensive set of conventional and advanced divertor concepts. The specific theoretical prediction of an enhanced radiation region between the two X-points in the low-field-side snowflake-minus configuration was experimentally confirmed. Fundamental investigations of the power decay length in the scrape-off layer (SOL) are progressing rapidly, again in widely varying configurations and in both D and He plasmas; in particular, the double decay length in L-mode limited plasmas was found to be replaced by a single length at high SOL resistivity. Experiments on disruption mitigation by massive gas injection and electron-cyclotron resonance heating (ECRH) have begun in earnest, in parallel with studies of runaway electron generation and control, in both stable and disruptive conditions; a quiescent runaway beam carrying the entire electrical current appears to develop in some cases. Developments in plasma control have benefited from progress in individual controller design and have evolved steadily towards controller integration, mostly within an environment supervised by a tokamak profile control simulator. TCV has demonstrated effective wall conditioning with ECRH in He in support of the preparations for JT-60SA operation.</p>
  • Marco, Aitor, et al. (författare)
  • A Variable Structure Control Scheme Proposal for the Tokamak a Configuration Variable
  • 2019
  • Ingår i: Complexity. - Hindawi Publishing Corporation. - 1076-2787 .- 1099-0526.
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • <p>Fusion power is the most significant prospects in the long-term future of energy in the sense that it composes a potentially clean, cheap, and unlimited power source that would substitute the widespread traditional nonrenewable energies, reducing the geographical dependence on their sources as well as avoiding collateral environmental impacts. Although the nuclear fusion research started in the earlier part of 20th century and the fusion reactors have been developed since the 1950s, the fusion reaction processes achieved have not yet obtained net power, since the generated plasma requires more energy to achieve and remain in necessary particular pressure and temperature conditions than the produced profitable energy. For this purpose, the plasma has to be confined inside a vacuum vessel, as it is the case of the Tokamak reactor, which consists of a device that generates magnetic fields within a toroidal chamber, being one of the most promising solutions nowadays. However, the Tokamak reactors still have several issues such as the presence of plasma instabilities that provokes a decay of the fusion reaction and, consequently, a reduction in the pulse duration. In this sense, since long pulse reactions are the key to produce net power, the use of robust and fast controllers arises as a useful tool to deal with the unpredictability and the small time constant of the plasma behavior. In this context, this article focuses on the application of robust control laws to improve the controllability of the plasma current, a crucial parameter during the plasma heating and confinement processes. In particular, a variable structure control scheme based on sliding surfaces, namely, a sliding mode controller (SMC) is presented and applied to the plasma current control problem. In order to test the validity and goodness of the proposed controller, its behavior is compared to that of the traditional PID schemes applied in these systems, using the RZIp model for the Tokamak a Configuration Variable (TCV) reactor. The obtained results are very promising, leading to consider this controller as a strong candidate to enhance the performance of the PID-based controllers usually employed in this kind of systems.</p>
  • Coda, S., et al. (författare)
  • Physics research on the TCV tokamak facility: From conventional to alternative scenarios and beyond
  • 2019
  • Ingår i: Nuclear Fusion. - 0029-5515. ; 59:11
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • The research program of the TCV tokamak ranges from conventional to advanced-tokamak scenarios and alternative divertor configurations, to exploratory plasmas driven by theoretical insight, exploiting the device's unique shaping capabilities. Disruption avoidance by real-time locked mode prevention or unlocking with electron-cyclotron resonance heating (ECRH) was thoroughly documented, using magnetic and radiation triggers. Runaway generation with high-Z noble-gas injection and runaway dissipation by subsequent Ne or Ar injection were studied for model validation. The new 1 MW neutral beam injector has expanded the parameter range, now encompassing ELMy H-modes in an ITER-like shape and nearly non-inductive H-mode discharges sustained by electron cyclotron and neutral beam current drive. In the H-mode, the pedestal pressure increases modestly with nitrogen seeding while fueling moves the density pedestal outwards, but the plasma stored energy is largely uncorrelated to either seeding or fueling. High fueling at high triangularity is key to accessing the attractive small edge-localized mode (type-II) regime. Turbulence is reduced in the core at negative triangularity, consistent with increased confinement and in accord with global gyrokinetic simulations. The geodesic acoustic mode, possibly coupled with avalanche events, has been linked with particle flow to the wall in diverted plasmas. Detachment, scrape-off layer transport, and turbulence were studied in L- and H-modes in both standard and alternative configurations (snowflake, super-X, and beyond). The detachment process is caused by power 'starvation' reducing the ionization source, with volume recombination playing only a minor role. Partial detachment in the H-mode is obtained with impurity seeding and has shown little dependence on flux expansion in standard single-null geometry. In the attached L-mode phase, increasing the outer connection length reduces the in-out heat-flow asymmetry. A doublet plasma, featuring an internal X-point, was achieved successfully, and a transport barrier was observed in the mantle just outside the internal separatrix. In the near future variable-configuration baffles and possibly divertor pumping will be introduced to investigate the effect of divertor closure on exhaust and performance, and 3.5 MW ECRH and 1 MW neutral beam injection heating will be added.
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