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Letters From the Committee :: March 8, 2010

Miller letter to Secretary Chu regarding DOE’s knowledge of helium-3 shortage and status of search for potential substitutes


March 8, 2010
The Honorable Steven Chu
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington D.C. 20585
Dear Secretary Chu:
            Helium-3 has been a critical component in radiation detection monitors and is also essential for cryogenic research, in medical applications and for uses in the oil and gas industry. Since the 9/11 attacks, the demand for helium-3 has increased dramatically because of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) and the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) programs to install thousands of radiation detectors at hundreds of domestic and foreign ports and border crossings. However, the supply of helium-3—a byproduct of tritium—has been dwindling because U.S. nuclear weapons production has come to a virtual halt. 

 Read the complete letter to Secretary Chu >> 

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