Tyler Cowen wonders if there will be a helium crisis
. Nobel Prize Winner Robert Richardson says Yes
, because in 1996 Congress passed an act requiring that this strategic reserve, which represents half the Earth's helium stocks, be sold off by 2015. As a result, helium is far too cheap and is not treated as a precious resource. The problem has been around for years
. Most helium is NOT used
for balloons but rather in industry, and in the US most helium comes from a few natural gas fields
in the mountain states.Only 15 commercial plants worldwide have the ability to separate helium from other gases and to purify it.
, see also LHC Accident
posted by Blake
on Aug 20, 2010 -
BBC: Hadron Collider forced to halt.
An underground tunnel fault released one ton of liquid helium, which had been acting as coolant, into the tunnels of the Large Hadron Collider, causing 100 supercooled magnets to heat up by an extra 100°C and then fail. Vacuum was lost as well.
posted by WCityMike
on Sep 19, 2008 -