New facilities are required before the construction of an actual fusion power plant. ITER will advance the understanding of plasma physics and confinement but will be useful for evaluating many of the new materials and concepts needed for a real fusion reactor.

The International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility (IFMIF) is a neutron source intended as a test facility to develop new advanced materials for the plasma-facing components of fusion reactors. The device is based on a linear accelerator to generate neutron fluxes in the order of 1018m-2s-1 with an energy of 14.1 MeV as in a fusion reactor. The machine will accelerate deuterium ions and send them onto a lithium target to produce the neutron flux.

The facility will be constructed in Japan as part of the international Fusion for Energy consortium which is building ITER. At the present time, only prototype devices for IFMIF are actually in construction and the timescale for the full IFMIF device is unclear.

The Fusion Nuclear Science Facility (FNSF) is under consideration in the US where scientists and engineers consider a further R&D machine is necessary between ITER and DEMO in order to test materials and tritium breeder systems.