[ RadSafe ] Helium suppies endangered, threatening science and technology

Doug Aitken jdaitken at sugar-land.oilfield.slb.com
Wed Jan 2 11:50:09 CST 2008

Otto, there is a big difference between total supply (even if constantly
replenished) and recoverable supply (e.g. economically viable).

Just ask the oil men out there.......

So it would seem to be prudent to take some care to minimize waste (goes for
most things, too!)

Regards and happy new year!
Doug Aitken     Cell phone: 713-562-8585
QHSE Advisor
D&M Operations Support           
Schlumberger Technology Corporation
300 Schlumberger Drive
Sugar Land TX 77030

Home office: 713-797-0919  Home Fax: 713-797-1757

-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl] On Behalf
Of Otto G. Raabe
Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2008 11:28 AM
To: Radsafe
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Helium suppies endangered, threatening science and

At 03:00 AM 1/1/2008, you wrote:
>Helium supplies endangered, threatening science and technology
>News from Washington University in St. Louis - Saint Louis,MO,USA
>By Tony Fitzpatrick The element that lifts things like balloons, 
>spirits and voice ranges is being depleted so rapidly in the world's 
>largest reserve, ...
January 1, 2008

I think the article vastly underestimates the helium reserves of the 
earth. As noted in the article, every alpha particle emitted by the 
naturally-occurring alpha emitting radionuclides in the uranium and 
thorium decay series found in all the rock and soil of the earth 
constantly generates helium. If there was not an immense quantity 
continually being generated there would be no helium on the earth 
even without human use. It seems quite unreasonable to assume that 
the puny human use of helium could significantly deplete the earths 
constantly replenished supply.


Prof. Otto G. Raabe, Ph.D., CHP
Center for Health & the Environment
University of California
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
E-Mail: ograabe at ucdavis.edu
Phone: (530) 752-7754   FAX: (530) 758-6140
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