In addition to its possible use in next-generation nuclear fusion reactors, Helium-3 is also used to detect smuggled nuclear weapons materials and certain kinds of medical imaging. The New York Times today reports that a new Congressional audit has found that there is now a very critical shortage of He-3,
because one arm of the Energy Department was selling the gas six times as fast as another arm could accumulate it, and the two sides failed to communicate for years
Oy. Current sources are extremely limited, since they can really only be obtained from material derived from the dismantlement of nuclear weapons. As noted in my last post about Harrison Schmitt, He-3 is found in rather large quantities in the lunar soil.