If you ever might potentially find it worthwhile to have a geiger counter in your survival kit, you might consider grabbing a ‘cheap’ unit while you can:
Helium-3 is a decay product of tritium, a heavy isotope of hydrogen used to enhance the yield of nuclear weapons, but whose production stopped in 1988. The half-life decay of tritium is about 12 years, and the U.S. supply for helium-3 is fed by harvesting the gas from dismantled or refurbished nuclear weapons. However, production of helium-3 hasn’t kept pace with the exponential demand sparked by the Sept. 11 attacks.
Projected demand for the nonradioactive gas in 2010 is said to be more than 76,000 liters per year, while U.S. production is a mere 8,000 liters annually, and U.S. total supply rests at less than 48,000 liters. This shortage wasn’t identified until a workshop put on by the Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Physics in August 2008.