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Physcial Sciences Division

July 2016

Dick Kouzes Quoted in Science on Helium-3 Shortage

Richard Kouzes
Richard Kouzes was quoted in the July 1 issue of Science.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory physicist Dr. Richard Kouzes was quoted in the July 1 issue of Science in an article about the efforts to create alternatives to Helium-3 (3He). This rare isotope has unique properties that make it invaluable for applications from cryogenics to detecting hidden nuclear bomb material.

An increased demand for 3He was because of a substantial expansion in its use for neutron detectors in homeland and national security applications, as well as use for neutron scattering science. At the same time, 3He supply was impacted by an unexpected reduction of Russian exports to the marketplace. The demand for 3He by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Physics alone has been as high as 70,000 liters per year.

Kouzes leads research in fundamental and applied nuclear science at PNNL. He was Principal Investigator and Technical Lead for the Lab's largest single project, the Radiation Portal Monitor Project, which resulted in radiation monitors being deployed at all U.S. international borders. At PNNL, Kouzes is a Laboratory Fellow, the highest rank a PNNL scientist or engineer can attain.

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