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Helium Bill Introduced in Senate

May 13, 2013

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, have introduced the Helium Stewardship Act, S.B. 783, in the Senate. The bipartisan bill would safeguard access to helium in the U.S. by preventing the closure of the Federal Helium Reserve.

Liquid helium is a crucial component in magnetic resonance imaging equipment because it cools the magnets to temperatures suitable for imaging. MRI systems need to be refilled with liquid helium regularly to maintain normal operating temperatures.

The bill follows the Helium Administration and Stewardship Act, H.R. 527, introduced in the House in February by Reps. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., and Edward Markey, D-Mass.

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