During tokamak experimental operation, events which rapidly terminate the plasma discharge occasionally occurs. These disruptions are of great concern because The complete and rapid loss of thermal and magnetic energy can result in destruction of the material wall. For proposed next step experiments such as the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the stored energy will be approximately 100 times greater than present day devices, which increases the engineering challenges. Exacerbating the difficulties, the disruption phenomena is often highly non-axisymmetric  resulting in localized deposition of the heat loads. Achieving a greater understanding of disruption mechanisms and how the heat flux gets deposited on the wall is necessary for advancing the tokamak as a reactor concept. In this set of simulations, a particular disruption of a DIII-D tokamak plasma is studied to understand both the linear and nonlinear mechanisms leading to a disruption, and to understand what physics is needed to adequately model the disruption mechanisms.
The particular discharge studied is of discharge #87009 which studied a rapid loss of confinement while the plasma was being heated as shown below.
 J.D. Callen et.al., Phys. Plas. 6, 2963 (1999)
 A.D. Turnbull et.al. In the Proceeding of the 18th Fusion Energy Conference, IAEA, Sorrento, Italy (2000)