Helium is a vital product in low temperature research and manufacturing and is a critical component in nuclear reactor design and the production of nuclear weapons.
There was a great deal of concern throughout the 1980's that the recommendations made to the Reagan administration by the DoE were based on incorrect assumptions about [then] current supply.
As a graduate student working on experiments within a few micro-Kelvins of absolute zero at the time, I can tell you this is a crisis manufactured by stupid people at the DoE that should never have happened.
These same geniuses, by the way, shut down all but one of our facilities for refining fissile nuclear materials, substantially delaying our ability to modernize our nuclear arsenal.
The instant shortage is just one more example of government "experts" screwing the pooch.
Dirty commies, no doubt.
Dont forget He is also a vital gas in the pressurization of space farming vehicles to prevent tank collapse. I believe one of the advantages to going back to the moon is the abundance of He3 the predict is available. That could make for one heck of a gas market if they can extract it and ship it back to Earth.
Enron influence of “competitive marketing - if “we” are the only competitors” in the entire free market of the commodity ?
It makes one talk funny, too.
Helium and Biden’s [maybe McCain’s?] buddy Igor Pasternak Worldwide Aeros blimp bump... does Ukraine have big helium reserves?