Turbulence induced by the ion temperature gradient (ITG) is investigated in the helical and axisymmetric plasma states of a reversed field pinch device by means of gyrokinetic calculations. The two magnetic configurations are systematically compared, both linearly and nonlinearly, in order to evaluate the impact of the geometry on the instability and its ensuing transport, as well as on the production of zonal flows. Despite its enhanced confinement, the high-current helical state demonstrates a lower ITG stability threshold compared to the axisymmetric state, and ITG turbulence is expected to become an important contributor to the total heat transport.

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