GE's Reuter-Stokes has developed a government tested and approved solution for neutron detection utilizing Boron-10 (B-10) lined proportional counters to be used in Homeland Security radiation portal monitors with the sensitivity and capabilities of Helium-3 (He-3) radiation detectors. In response to the global Helium-3 shortage, GE developed an advanced replacement neutron detector technology based on Boron-10. These neutron detector modules have passed government lab and field testing, easily surpassing the ANSI 42.35 specification, and are now available with or without integrated electronics from our newly built hi-volume factory in Twinsburg, Ohio.
Another example of the many uses of boron
Solutions to the Helium Shortage? A combination of legislation and tech?
Helium-3 is a very important part of many processes such as nuclear fusion,medical lung imaging, and cryogenics. While the earth only contains limitedamounts of He-3, which are quickly diminishing, the moon could sustain oursupply of He-3 for many years.
Anothersolution is the synthetic production of helium in a laboratory. Helium, andmore importantly He-3, can be extracted from tritium decay. Tritium decay isproduced by bombarding the nuclei of lithium, boron, or nitrogen atoms withneutrons to change the atomic makeup of these elements. Currently, He-3 isextracted from tritium decay in unused nuclear weapons. The problems areassociated with this solution are related to availability issues. Lithium,boron, and nitrogen are not in unlimited supply on earth and tritium productionrequires eighteen times the lithium, boron, or nitrogen than He-3 that isproduced. Thus they could only be used to produce a limited amount of He-3.Also the storage of tritium is extremely expensive, costing more than He-3 isworth to produce. Similarly, He-3 iscreated from deuterium-deuterium nuclear fusion, while He-4, the most abundanthelium isotope is created from suggested deuterium-tritium nuclear fusion, anenergy-generating that is suggested to be economically viable within the nextforty years. Should these methodsproliferate, helium would be naturally generated as a result.