Now we come to find out that it is a critical substance? Uh ... I don't think so.
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.
MRI machines require helium to cool down the magnets.
Spell it M.R.I. for medical application.
Cryogenic cooling systems for reconnaissance imaging?
Gas chromatography and mass spectrometers use Helium as a carrier gas.
No Helium...No analytical results.
The CEO, Ukrainian Pasternak...is a Biden donor/bundler:
The Flying Luxury Hotel
Popular Science ^ | 3/08/2006 | Joshua Tompkins
Posted on 3/8/2006, 1:48:59 PM by Dallas59
.... Unlike its dirigible ancestors, the Aeroscraft is not lighter than air. Its 14 million cubic feet of helium hoist only two thirds of the crafts weight. The rigid and surprisingly aerodynamic bodydriven by huge rearward propellersgenerates enough additional lift to keep the behemoth and its 400-ton payload aloft while cruising. During takeoff and landing, six turbofan jet engines push the ship up or ease its descent.
This two-football-fields-long concept airship is the brainchild of Igor Pasternak, whose privately-funded California firm, Worldwide Aeros Corporation, is in the early stages of developing a prototype and expects to have one completed by 2010. Pasternak says several cruise ship companies have expressed interest in the project, and for good reason: The craft would have a range of several thousand miles and, with an estimated top speed of 174 mph, could traverse the continental U.S. in about 18 hours. During the flight, passengers would peer at national landmarks just 8,000 feet below or, if they werent captivated by the view, the cavernous interior would easily accommodate such amenities as luxury staterooms, restaurants, even a casino.
To minimize noise, the aft-mounted propellers will be electric, powered by a renewable source such as hydrogen fuel cells...