Critical Resources: Liquid Helium

Congress should mandate that a portion of monies generated from the Reserve's helium sales be used to help finance the capital investment in equipment that reduces academic researchers' helium consumption.

Critical Resources & Liquid HeliumMany researchers are suffering from rising costs of liquid helium and its unreliable availability. During the last decade, the price of helium has increased by as much as 250% for some academic researchers, and many are spending more than one-third of their grants on liquid helium. Procurement issues are impeding hiring and graduate student research.

In 2016, three socieites, including APS, issued a joint report about the research community's liquid helium crisis. The report identified actions to help ensure a stable, long-term helium supply for end-users and recommended that academic researchers transition to equipment that can recycle helium.

The Federal Helium Reserve, established in 1960 and funded by taxpayer dollars, is required to close by fall 2021, according to current law. The Reserve generates approximately $430,000 per day in profit from crude helium sales.

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.@[twitter_handle] Helium is irreplaceable, nonrenewable and critical to science. Recycling it saves our supply & money. #voice4physics


.@senatordoe Helium is irreplaceable, nonrenewable and critical to science. Recycling helium is essential. #voice4physics