Mr. Speaker, the innovative workers at Chalk River Laboratories have increased Canada's ability to produce helium-3 by developing techniques to extract it from operating CANDU reactors. As such, Canada possesses one of the largest repositories in the world of this sought-after isotope.
Helium-3 is a scarce resource that has a number of important applications in nuclear security, science and medicine. It is widely used in neutron detectors, which enable the detection of contraband nuclear materials at border crossings around the world.
Helium-3 is used in science for achieving extremely cold temperatures and for neutron-scattering research in material science at reactor facilities around the world.
Recently it has been successfully polarized for the first time at Chalk River Laboratories.
Polarized helium-3 can be utilized in the magnetic resonance imaging, MRI, of air spaces in human lungs. Having no interaction with the human body makes it a highly appealing alternative to current MRI practices.
AECL's Chalk River Laboratories offer jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for all Canadians.