The Lithium Tokamak eXperiment is a small, low aspect ratio tokamak [Majeski et al., Nucl. Fusion 49, 055014 (2009)], which is fitted with a stainless steel-clad copper liner, conformal to the last closed flux surface. The liner can be heated to 350 °C. Several gas fueling systems, including supersonic gas injection and molecular cluster injection, have been studied and produce fueling efficiencies up to 35%. Discharges are strongly affected by wall conditioning. Discharges without lithium wall coatings are limited to plasma currents of order 10 kA, and discharge durations of order 5 ms. With solid lithium coatings discharge currents exceed 70 kA, and discharge durations exceed 30 ms. Heating the lithium wall coating, however, results in a prompt degradation of the discharge, at the melting point of lithium. These results suggest that the simplest approach to implementing liquid lithium walls in a tokamak—thin, evaporated, liquefied coatings of lithium—does not produce an adequately clean surface.

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