EUROfusion Glossary

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Glossary Term: Bootstrap current

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Theory predicted in 1970 that a toroidal electric current will flow in a tokamak which is fuelled by energy and particle sources that replace diffusive losses. This diffusion driven bootstrap current, which is proportional to ß and flows even in the absence of an applied voltage, could be used to provide the confining magnetic field: hence the concept of a bootstrap tokamak, which has no toroidal voltage. A bootstrap current consistent with theory was observed many years later on JET and TFTR; it now plays a role in design of experiments and power plants (especially advanced tokamaks).