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The Politics of Helium 
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Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 2:10 pm
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Post The Politics of Helium
This is one of those rare articles, in that I felt like I was actually smarter after reading :D

And even though I was already aware of the National Helium Reserve and some of its history:

The Politics of Helium

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"There comes a time in the life of every human when he or she must decide to risk 'his life, his fortune, and his sacred honor' on an outcome dubious. Those who fail the challenge are merely overgrown children, can never be anything else."


Tue May 06, 2014 9:29 am
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:46 am
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Location: Aurora, IL, USA, Terra
Post Re: The Politics of Helium
Here's the 2010 National Research Council report on what to do about the helium reserve.

At one time my job was to quench-test superconducting magnets destined for the Tevatron. Liquid helium would flash into vapor, pressurizing a relief valve, and a plume of the frigid gas would vent into the atmosphere, a process one of our cryo techs called "giving the helium back to God." Here's a 1981 fanzine article about my job.

So I suppose I personally disposed of a small fraction of the National Helium Reserve in those days.

The Tevatron is shut down now. So the inventory of liquid helium at Fermilab is much, much smaller. We still have a lot of superconducting devices here, though. And we're planning to build more.

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Tue May 06, 2014 3:35 pm
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2008 8:10 am
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Post Re: The Politics of Helium
RobertPearson wrote:
This is one of those rare articles, in that I felt like I was actually smarter after reading :D

And even though I was already aware of the National Helium Reserve and some of its history:

The Politics of Helium


From that article:
Quote:
Everyone does agree, however, that Congress needs to revisit the crisis—except Congress itself. Michael Tadeo, the press secretary for the House Committee on Natural Resources, which was responsible for the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013, is asked if a congressman from the committee can comment on the crisis. He declines to make one available. “We’re currently not in a helium crisis,” Tadeo says. “As far as I know, we passed a bill, which the president signed into law, to avoid a helium shortage.”


*Bangs head on wall* If the scope of "culpable negligence" were ever extended to cover actions of politicians the courts would be overflowing,


Wed May 07, 2014 6:03 am
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