Valuable isotope used in quantum computing,
neutron research, border security and medical imaging
Laurentis Energy Partners today announced a new program to produce Helium-3 (He-3), a rare isotope used in quantum computing, neutron research, border security and medical imaging.
View 1-minute video about Helium-3 and its uses: Video about He-3
Laurentis will obtain the He-3 from tritium stored at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, about 100 kilometres east of Toronto. The tritium is removed from heavy water in the CANDU station, owned and operated by Ontario Power Generation (OPG), the parent company of Laurentis.
A stable (non-radioactive) and insert gas, the He-3 will be extracted using a new custom-designed tool, which Laurentis installed and is now commissioning at Darlington. Production of the valuable isotope will occur before year-end.
“Our advanced He-3 technology is an example of Laurentis engineers and project managers delivering innovative solutions to move the energy industry forward,” said Jason Van Wart, Vice President of Laurentis.
“We’re especially proud to be the first civilian, non-military source of He-3,” Van Wart said. “By increasing the supply of this rare isotope, we can help save lives, advance high-tech industries and expand the frontiers of science.”
Laurentis will seek to develop a long-term commercial agreement with a company to further refine and distribute the He-3 to customers around the world in health care, security and advanced research.
He-3 has a wide range of applications:
- As a medical isotope, He-3 is a non-toxic inhalant used to produce highly detailed Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of airways in the lung.
- In border security, it is used in portal monitors to detect radioactive materials.
- In neutron research, it is used in colliders to study the shadow world of anti-matter, one of the great mysteries of the universe.
- In quantum computing, He-3 is used to reach near-absolute-zero temperatures, which reduces noise or interference in calculations; it is similarly used as a super-coolant in cryogenics.
- It is also a potential fuel in fusion reactors.
About Laurentis Energy Partners:
Laurentis Energy Partners, a subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation, provides solutions for customers across the energy spectrum: from nuclear, hydro and solar generation, to the advancement of new technologies such as small modular reactors, and production of medical isotopes. Laurentis has offices in the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton and Bruce County in Ontario, Saint John in New Brunswick, and Bucharest in Romania.
About Ontario Power Generation (OPG):
As a global climate-change leader and the largest, most diverse electricity generator in the province of Ontario, OPG is helping to lead Canada’s charge to a post-carbon economy.