X-Message-Number: 21581
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 2003 07:28:17 EDT
Subject: Bottom line on MRI He-3.

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I have made from heavy steel plates the ball bearings cage for a heavy duty 
milling table. I need it for milling the cast parts of the helium pressure 
vessel used in MRI He-3 brain reader.

In the course of an Internet chat, I have found someone working on recycling 
He-3 from MRI systems. He complained that I speak about these systems as a 
future possibility when Duke University for example has experimented with it 
in the past 5 years. Sorry, I get old, I can't no more cope with the pace of 
technological progress :-).

What has not been done is using it at high pressure and low temperature, what 
I plan to do in the coming years.

Beyond a small demonstrator, there are two problems with that technology 
(beyond the slow scan and limited picture definition):

First, the world production of He-3 is 10,000 liters/year or 100 l. under 100 
bars pressure. If there was no recycling, a single experiment with my 
intended system would consume  more than one month of world production (I 
don't bother with the price problem here:-). Clearly, there must be some 
efficient recycling and production must be boosted. May be a laser isotopic 
separator would be a wise investment.

Second, there is a big data processing problem. Even using distributed 
computing, something must be done in this domain.

Yvan Bozzonetti.


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