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CNN Wire Staff
Washington (CNN) - A plane carrying Michelle Obama had to abort its landing on Monday after it came too close to a military C-17 cargo plane ahead of it, according to a senior administration official and the Federal Aviation Administration.
The planes - which were both trying to land - were three miles apart, when they are supposed to be five miles apart, the official told CNN. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating what went wrong, as it is believed to be an air traffic controller mistake, the official said.
The White House does not believe the first lady's life was ever in danger, the senior official said.
The FAA said in a statement controllers at Andrews Air Force Base instructed an incoming Boeing 737 to perform a "go around" "because the plane did not have the required amount of separation" behind the military plane.
The FAA is investigating. "The aircraft were never in any danger," the agency said.
The landing was briefly aborted and Obama's plane had to circle, the official said.
Tokyo (CNN) - A robot probe found sauna-like conditions inside the No. 2 reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant but lower levels of radiation than in other damaged units, the plant's owner reported Tuesday.
Reactor No. 2 is believed to be leaking water, thousands of tons of which are filling the basement of its turbine plant and utility tunnels. A robot inserted into the unit's reactor building Monday found temperatures up to 41 degrees Celsius (106 F) and humidity ranging from 94-99 percent, the Tokyo Electric Power Company reported Tuesday.
Those conditions fogged up the lenses of the probe's cameras, forcing operators to withdraw the device after a few minutes, company officials said. But the radiation levels were low enough that workers might be able to re-enter the building for short periods of time, Tokyo Electric officials said.
The robot clocked a radiation level of 4.1 millisieverts per hour - less than 10% of the amount found in the No. 1 and No. 3 reactor buildings on Sunday. By comparison, the average resident of an industrialized country receives a dose of about 3 millisieverts per year. A CT scan produces just under 7, and a chest X-ray delivers a one-time dose of about .05 millisieverts.
Doses above 100 millisieverts can increase the long-term risk of cancer, while 1,000 millisieverts can produce radiation sickness. Tokyo Electric said 29 workers, including three subcontractors, had received cumulative doses of more than 100 millisieverts to date.
Meanwhile, workers at the plant began pumping the first of the highly radioactive fluid from unit 2's service tunnels into a storage tank for contaminated water Tuesday, said Hidehiko Nishiyama, the chief spokesman for Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.
The treatment facility could hold as much as 30,000 tons of water, according to Tokyo Electric. Nishiyama told reporters Tuesday that as much as 70,000 tons of contaminated water may lie in the darkened spaces beneath the turbine plants, where much of the equipment that normally cools the reactors is housed.
"The plan is to install a purification device so that we can purify the water and then free up some space to store the additional contaminated water," he said.
CNN Political Unit
Washington (CNN) – One year after the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, support for offshore oil drilling has rebounded despite concerns that the federal government cannot prevent another massive oil spill, according to a new national poll.
A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday indicates that 69 percent of Americans favor increased offshore drilling, with just over three in ten opposed. That 69 percent is up 20 points from last June, while the oil spill was still in progress, and is back to the level of support seen in the summer of 2008.
Tom Foreman | BIO
Reporter's Note: The latest polls from Quinnipiac and Gallup look like some tough reading for President Obama. Thank goodness my letters are such a pleasure for him!
Dear Mr. President,
Another month, another batch of lousy approval ratings for you. It’s like a broken record, isn’t it? I was looking over some of the latest polls and it seems to be the same story that has followed you for quite some time: Lots of voters like you as a person; not so many when it comes to you as a policy-maker. Kind of like what happened to me when I was treasurer for my 4-H club. Um, except for the “liking me personally” part. Sort of made me regret that I didn’t make off with the hay ride funds.
Still, you shouldn’t let it get to you.
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Editor's note: CNN's Soledad O'Brien reports on the controversy surrounding a popular book by Greg Mortenson.
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