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Letters From the Committee :: November 23, 2009

Miller letter to GAO requesting investigation into supply of helium-3, and its impact on radiation detection devices


November 20, 2009
Mr. Gene L. Dodaro
Acting Comptroller General
U.S. Government Accountability Office
441 G Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20548
Dear Mr. Dodaro:
The committee has recently become aware of a looming shortage of the gas helium-3 (He-3). This gas has a number of applications in private industry; it is used in well logging devices in the oil and gas industry, in MRI and other imaging technology in medical diagnostics, and in basic science research projects in such fields as nuclear and condensed matter physics. Much of the increased demand, however, is due to the expanded use of helium-3 in neutron detectors for national security, nonproliferation, and homeland security applications. The need for helium-3 in the United States is now greatly outpacing production. 

 Read the complete letter to Mr. Dodaro >> 

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