We’ve all been made very aware of the severity of the current shortage of helium supply by the announcement that the Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL) was forced to de-energize five of their 28 systems to deal with the reduced allocation. We have assembled a panel of experts both on the helium industry and NMR magnet community to discuss the impact of this current crisis and prepare our labs as best we can.
Part One of the meeting details the helium crisis as it pertains to the NMR industry. Our panel provided very current information on the shortage both over the short and longer term. This panel was led by Phil Kornbluth, the preeminent helium industry insider and includes Craig Bettenhausen, an editor from the ACS who recently wrote an article on the crisis for C&E News, and Dr. Nancy Washton, the director of the NMR facility at the PNNL. Phil begin with a presentation on the supply shortage and followed with a panel discussion and questions from our listeners.
Part Two involved a discussion among our invited NMR magnet experts, Razvan Teodorescu from Bruker and Jon Webb from MR Resources. They began by covering the practical implications of managing shortages of helium including the potential necessity of de-energizing a magnet. This discussion focused on making plans for NMR facilities in the event of a turn for the worse and included what the options are available, timing and risks involved, etc.
Full Chat Transcript:
Thank you to all the contributors. Here in New Zealand we have some additional problems with supply as we have to get it flown in from Australia and flights are difficult to arrange. But I believe we have less restrictions on the amount we can get. We are in the purchasing process for a full recovery system, but the 75% recovery systems were a solution I wasn’t aware of. I also wasn’t aware of Quantum Technolgies so I have contacted them and though we have JEOL and Varian I hadn’t considered Bruker for a recovery system but that might be also worth pursuing.
Possibly we have the most southernmost nmrs in the world here in Dunedin, New Zealand.