Comparison of the Process Systems Code with the SONIC Divertor Code

J. Morris, N. Asakura, Y. Homma, K. Hoshino, M. Kovari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a demonstration (DEMO) reactor, mitigation of the large heat load on the divertor target to the below material and engineering limits is a key requirement for operation. Systems modeling is used to design entire fusion power plants and, therefore, has to be able to appropriately capture the divertor challenge. Therefore, it is important to validate these models against comprehensive SOL-divertor simulation codes and experiments. A 1-D divertor model in PROCESS was investigated, compared to the results of 2-D SONIC simulation under the detachment condition. The comparison shows how the 1-D divertor model handles the power loss mechanisms from the outboard mid-plane to the outer divertor target for a DEMO-like condition. The results show good agreement on the calculated value of the total power crossing the separatrix (<5% difference) and the total impurity radiation power P imp (<10% difference). However, the 1-D profiles show differences in density and temperature at the upstream of the target (<10 m of connection length to target, corresponding to 10 cm in the poloidal length). One reason for this difference is that the 2-D model calculates impurity transport, which produces a variable impurity fraction along the connection length in the divertor, while the 1-D model uses a single averaged value. The SONIC code also considers physical processes not covered in the 1-D model, such as radial transport in the SOL and divertor region. A scan of P sep values in PROCESS for a DEMO-sized machine show that above Psep = 200 MW, there is a stronger impact on cost and machine size for higher Psep.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8998560
Pages (from-to)1799-1803
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun


  • Demonstration (DEMO)
  • SOL
  • divertor
  • nuclear fusion
  • systems codes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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