But Tokamaks aren't going to be the soln for continual power generation while Stellarators might be.
So is ITER a necessary engineering exercise to learn practical details or is it a giant white elephant - like a Victorian program to develop kevlar sails so tea clippers can keep beating steam ships ?
Frankly given the politics I'm amazed ITER has done anything at all. The plan was for a bunch of countries that aren't quite at war with each other to build the highest tech bit of nuclear physics on the planet. But instead of putting money into a design they each build the bit that their govt/industry feels like. So the cool bits with industrial applications are built by multiple countries all building the same part. Some bits nobody wants to build because they want it to be secret or would take years of R&D and have no other uses.
Then you try and assemble the whole thing in France, with French labor laws and to French nuclear safety inspection standards.