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A look at helium
Uses » MRI magnet cooling, medical lasers , aerospace arc welding, computer chip manufacturing
Produced » From natural gas deposits mostly in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas; Utah production has been halted
Properties » An inert, nonflammable, nontoxic gas; coldest liquid known, doesn’t become radioactive
Availability » Supplies are tight due to government controls and congressional inaction on potential remedies; older helium plants are not producing at full capacity, and new ones have been delayed.
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