Safe, small, low cost, low maintenance and efficient. It looks like it will be small enough that it could be ran from inside a rail car or truck.
- Fuel: uses a different fuel, hydrogen and boron rather than the conventional Deuterium and Tritium.
- Reactor: much smaller, inexpensive, reactor in contrast to conventional approaches to fusion like the tokamak
- Generator: generates electricity directly. The tokamak is designed to generate heat which then has to be converted to electricity using expensive turbines and generator.
Plasma is by it's nature unstable. The current approaches try to make a stable bubble using massive superconducting magnets. The DOD is spending billions with no end in sight to trying to achieve this, and buy there own admission they are still several multi-billion dollar reactors away from reaching unity (where they generate more power then it takes to start).
These tokamak reactors take almost unimaginable amounts of power to fire up.
Instead Dense plasma focus take advantage of plasmas instability. It uses a high power capacitor bank discharges to compress plasma in to a Plasmoid that when is collapses upon itself pinches the plasma to create a very small intense pocket that is almost 1 Billion Degrees and under a lot of pressure.
So they end up with something that looks like a soda can sized spark plug, who's shape and design are specifically to compress the plasma and create a burst of electricity, Ions and X-Rays.
See this Excellent Video Lecture 1 hr 4 minutes long.
From Slashdot: A Step Closer To Cheap Nuclear Fusion
"The Focus Fusion Society reports that the scientists and engineers at Lawrenceville Plasma Physics have finally built an operational Dense Plasma Focus device. While still at less than half power, they were able to achieve a pinch on their device. The small company that Eric Lerner started recently gathered enough funding to start a two-year study on the validity of his theory regarding fusion-inducing plasmoids. If the theory holds, the device will produce more electricity than it consumes. In contrast to the billions of dollars spent on Tokamak fusion (think ITER), LPP is conducting their research on a budget around a million dollars. Yet, if it works, it will provide nuclear fusion with much simpler equipment and much less cost. Eric Lerner and Focus Fusion have been discussed on Slashdot before."
Method and apparatus for producing x-rays, ion beams and nuclear fusion energy
US Pat. 7482607 - Filed Feb 28, 2006 - Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, Inc.