The effect of tangential drifts on neoclassical transport in stellarators close to omnigeneity

In general, the orbit-averaged radial magnetic drift of trapped particles in stellarators is non-zero due to the three-dimensional nature of the magnetic field. Stellarators in which the orbit-averaged radial magnetic drift vanishes are called omnigeneous, and they exhibit neoclassical transport levels comparable to those of axisymmetric tokamaks. However, the effect of deviations from omnigeneity cannot be neglected in practice. For sufficiently low collision frequencies (below the values that define the $1/\nu$ regime), the components of the drifts tangential to the flux surface become relevant. This article focuses on the study of such collisionality regimes in stellarators close to omnigeneity when the gradient of the non-omnigeneous perturbation is small. First, it is proven that closeness to omnigeneity is required to preserve radial locality in the drift-kinetic equation for collisionalities below the $1/\nu$ regime. Then, it is shown that neoclassical transport is determined by two layers in phase space. One of the layers corresponds to the $\sqrt{\nu}$ regime and the other to the superbanana-plateau regime. The importance of the superbanana-plateau layer for the calculation of the tangential electric field is emphasized, as well as the relevance of the latter for neoclassical transport in the collisionality regimes considered in this paper. In particular, the tangential electric field is essential for the emergence of a new subregime of superbanana-plateau transport when the radial electric field is small. A formula for the ion energy flux that includes the $\sqrt{\nu}$ regime and the superbanana-plateau regime is given. The energy flux scales with the square of the size of the deviation from omnigeneity. Finally, it is explained why below a certain collisionality value the formulation presented in this article ceases to be valid.

Comments: 35 pages. Minor changes in subsection 4.1

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