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Ray Fox email correspondence with Richard Wiseman, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, Royal Dutch Shell Plc

EMAIL FROM RICHARD WISEMAN TO MR RAY FOX REGARDING CONTAMINATION FROM SHELL EARLEY TERMINAL

From: richard.wiseman@shell.com <richard.wiseman@shell.com>
Date: Feb 2, 2009 1:21 PM
Subject: Former Shell Terminal at Eardley
To: raymond.fox@sky.com
 
Dear Mr Fox,

Although you have addressed an “Open Letter” to me on Mr Donovan’s website, I am afraid I did not receive your email.  It would be helpful if you would email me direct in future as I do not regularly look at the website.

As we have made clear, to you and others, Shell has never been involved in “atomic” or “nuclear” research at Eardley or elsewhere in the U.K. Between 1953 and 1966 Shell conducted research for the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority at our Thornton laboratory in the North West of England. The research was only ever concerned with developing lubricants for nuclear power plants. It involved subjecting lubricants to controlled emissions of low-level Gamma radiation in a small secure purpose built laboratory at Thornton.  The work was conducted strictly in accordance with the Radioactive Substances Acts of 1948 and 1960 and other relevant legislation. The site was properly registered and regularly inspected. We have never made a secret of this research programme. Indeed, the work was described in the publicly available brochure “50 Years of Thornton Research Centre” which was produced in 1990.  This is entirely consistent with the answers I have given Mr Donovan and the information he claims contradicts this.

You have at various times raised your concerns with public authorities including: the local authority; your MP; the EU; and the Environment Agency, but have refused allow them independently to conduct the tests and examinations which might have proved or disproved your allegations – we always undertook to cooperate if they did so.

For example the letter you received from the European Commission and of which you sent me a copy states:

“Both the results (of tests conducted) reported by the Environment Agency and in the ECAL reports are below the clearance levels (levels below which the effect of trace amounts of radionuclides on human health is considered as negligible). It would thus not seem appropriate to carry out a detailed survey, in view of the rather low activity concentrations that have been found.

“However in order to reach definitive conclusions the Environment Agency would need to carry out an investigation, which of course would require your co-operation.

I do not recall your giving any such co-operation.  If you did, please let me know.

In 2006 you issued legal proceedings against Shell. They were eventually dismissed because you would not or could not give sufficient information about your claim. The court repeatedly allowed you extra time to do so even though you have been making your assertions for many years and claim to have the support of various experts.  

We are naturally sorry to hear about your illness, but we know of no conventional scientific or medical evidence support the idea that any illness from which you suffer was caused by any activity carried on by Shell. The legal proceedings you issued against Shell in 2006 were eventually dismissed because you did not provide sufficient information about your claim, although the court repeatedly allowed you extra time to do so.  Had your proceedings continued, there would of course have been an opportunity for an independent medical examination that might have thrown some light on to this..

Finally, let me reiterate that we have always undertaken to co-operate with the authorities in any investigation they might choose to carry out; that undertaking stands.

Regards

Richard Wiseman

Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer
Royal Dutch Shell plc
Shell Centre, London SE1 7NA

Registered in England and Wales number 4366849
Registered Office:  Shell Centre, London, SE1

Headquarters: Carel van Bylandtlaan 30, 2596 HR
The Hague, The Netherlands

Email: richard.wiseman@shell.com
Internet: http://www.shell.com <http://www.shell.com/>

RESPONSE FROM RAY FOX 

From: Raymond Fox [mailto:raymond.fox@sky.com]
Sent: 08 February 2009 11:18
To: Wiseman, Richard RM SI-RDS-CCO
Subject: Nuclear Contamination Personal Injury

Dear Mr Wiseman

Reference your response dated 2 February 2009, I do not know why you did not receive the email I sent. It is fortunate that you are such a frequent visitor to the Donovan website. It seems to be an even faster medium than email for securing your attention and a prompt response.

 

I note that you do not deny being rude to Mrs Fox when she begged you for information to assist Dr Joseph Kees, the specialist who was treating me in Germany for radiation sickness. You made no reference at the time to the possibility that the radiation source was a discarded smoke detector. That is a more recent hypothesis on your part. I will not embarrass you by dwelling on that novel theory.

As usual you have framed your response within the narrow context of “atomic or nuclear research”.  As John Donovan has correctly pointed out (and supplied evidence to prove it) Shell has been a major player in every conceivable aspect of the nuclear industry, short of actually detonating a nuclear device.

As John has also said, some matters connected with the nuclear industry are so secret that you Mr Wiseman would not necessarily have knowledge of them even if Shell had been involved. You have already publicly complained about how you and your lawyer colleagues were kept out of the loop on the reserves fraud until it was too late.

Many top-secret documents relating to Shell and its involvement with the UK Atomic Energy Authority have been declassified. The same applies to top-secret documents relating to Shell’s involvement with the UK Ministry of Defence in highly sensitive matters involving foreign powers. Other UKAEA or MOD documents, possibly covering material events at the former Shell Terminal at Earley, may well remain classified.

In view of Shell’s revealed top secret relationship with the MOD and the UKAEA, are you able to categorically state, that neither arm of the UK government had any connection or involvement with the Shell Terminal at Earley? You have already read the comments made in this regard by Mr Gerald James, whose honesty has been publicly acknowledged by a House of Commons Select Committee. In this connection, I note that you have avoided making any comment whatsoever on Shell’s key role in the Saudi Arabia BAe Systems “arms-for-oil” (aka Al-Yamamah) corruption scandal. It is obviously another hot potato.

 

I do not believe it would serve any useful purpose to go over all of the same points already covered in extensive correspondence lasting for over a decade.

However, to set the record straight, I was open to independent tests and examinations being carried out on my property subject of course to the tests being conducted on a genuinely “independent” basis i.e. independent of the wide-ranging influence of Shell or the relevant authorities.  

During the long period when Shell was still occupying the Earley Terminal, tests and examinations could have been carried out right up to the boundary of my property without any permission from me. If there was no trace of radioactive contamination, then Shell could have used that information to rebut my claim. Given the seriousness of the matter in relation to public health, was any such investigation undertaken? If not, why not?

I have always been willing to have a medical exam carried out independently. We did not reach that point in the litigation because contrary to the impression you convey in your email, it was Shell that moved to strike out my case which had been delayed by a lack of funds and severe health problems. Both obstacles on the path to justice were a consequence of the Shell contaminated waste illegally draining onto my property.

In the latter regard, anyone reading your responses on these matters would gain the impression that Shell’s environmental track record in respect of the Earley Terminal was unblemished. Is this a fair interpretation of your comments? Are you claiming there has never been any gross pollution of surface water resulting from contaminated discharge from the Shell Earley Terminal, which has resulted in serious pollution in the locality?

I attach a copy of a letter from Dr Caroline Lucas MEP (now Leader of The Green Party) to Mr Stephen Kaiser, Head of the EU Unit dealing with Radioactive Protection. In her letter, Dr Lucas noted the UK government position that the plutonium and other contamination at Wokingham Road (where I lived) was:

“due to weapons fallout and similar to that found in many parts of the UK with regards to variations due to rainfall washout”.  

Dr Lucas pointed out:

“This is not true: measurements made by Cawse and Horrill of Harwell in 1986 showed levels of Plutonium in central England to be a tiny fraction of the levels found at Mr Fox’s house. In addition, recent measurements made in the area by the University of Southampton do not support their assertions either”.

A copy of her letter is attached. 

It seems fair to conclude after all this time that you are not going to change your entrenched position. This is why mediation seems to be the most constructive way forward.

Let us look at the wider picture.

I have reports from highly qualified independent experts covering the scientific and medical aspects. Shell has not a single independent report, at least not any that have been disclosed to me. The same applies to the Department of the Environment and the relevant local authorities.

It is indisputable that there was toxic contamination at the Earley Terminal. If not, why was there a need to carry out soil decontamination on at least three separate occasions? I have reports detailing the deadly cocktail of toxic chemicals contaminating the Terminal land. No contractor involved in the repeated attempts of decontamination tested the soil for radioactive elements confirmed in various reports by Fairhurst and by RPS Thompson contractors (in the report with the unfortunate title: “The Target Mr Fox.”)

As you may recall, the subsequent report from Dr Chris Busby, the independent environmental scientist commissioned by the BBC, revealed “some of the highest levels of plutonium and uranium contamination ever recorded in Britain”.

Where are ANY Shell or DOE reports on expert tests for radioactive contamination at the site or in the locality? Apparently there are none. Just unacceptable unsubstantiated blanket denials unsupported by any evidence. In other words, I have independent expert evidence confirming high level radioactive contamination. You have none – non at all – on which to base your rejection of that expert evidence.

 

It is also indisputable that Shell paid for the investigation of the unlicensed leaking drain from the terminal, which was discharging a black tarry contaminated substance onto my property. With hindsight I suspect the work organised and authorised by you personally following your correspondence with me, was actually a cunning cover to remove evidence? I doubt the unfortunate workmen involved were warned their health was being put at risk.

Reports from a number of doctors confirmed my life threatening illness following exposure to the aforementioned black tarry substance leaking from the broken sewer crossing our land. The manhole cover over the broken sewer did not display any health or safety warning of extreme danger.

Evidence indicates that the contamination on my land was radioactive in nature. Irrespective of that finding, it was undoubtedly toxic in nature and ruined my life. Yet it is all ignored.

I suspect that you do have pangs of conscience over the disgraceful way I have been treated. With the greatest respect, instead of expressing your apologies on behalf of Shell, I would suggest that you agree to my constructive proposal to put the matter to mediation.

Let someone independent look at the scientific and medical reports and other evidence. If you have confidence that Shell is right, the cost of mediation would be a small price to pay for bringing the controversy to a conclusion, bearing in mind that mediation would involve a binding confidentiality agreement.

John Donovan has brought my attention to the recently announced highly authoritative “Covalence Ethical Ranking for 2008” in which Shell received an overall ethical ranking of 510 of of 541 multinationals. As John put it, Shell is ranked alongside the likes of the tobacco companies and the reviled American company, Halliburton. We know Shell’s shamefully low rating is not because of high oil prices or related obscene multi-billion dollar profits, because BP is ranked at at 145, still lowly but not scrapping the bottom like Shell.

As Chief Ethics Officer for Shell does this not give you pause to reflect on the past conduct of the company? Is is not time for Shell to make a fresh start by demonstrating it is willing to face up to its legal and moral responsibly for past sins?

 

I have asked John Donovan (and he has agreed) that if the claim is put to impartial mediation the involvement of him and his website in this matter will end, whatever the outcome. I know you are capable of drafting a confidentiality agreement to ensure his compliance as well as mine.

I would remind you that your filed defence to the High Court proceedings conceded that Shell… 

“admit that if, contrary to the above, the Claimants prove that the Defendants used or stored radioactive material at the Earley Terminal and that this radioactive material was transmitted from the Earley Terminal to the Claimant’s home then this would represent the breach of relevant duties owed by the Defendants to the Claimants as adjoining occupiers and/or persons living in the vicinity of the Earley Terminal.”
 
I can provide proof to a mediator that radioactive material WAS transmitted from the Shell Earley Terminal to my home.

Mr Wiseman please do not make the mistake of viewing my mediation proposal as a sign of weakness. If it is rejected, it will spur me on to continue and expand my campaign for justice. It would also further confirm that all the pledges of ethical dealings by Shell are a sham.  

I am simply doing my best to protect my family who have been left ill, homeless and traumatised by the actions and inactions of Shell. I trust that if you are a family man, your priorities are to care for your family. This is also my priority.

Since I seem to have technical problems when I try to send an email to multiple recipients, I would be grateful if you would kindly bring my email to the personal attention of Mr Jeroen van der Veer and Mr Jorma Ollia.

Finally, since you did not apparently receive my last email, could you please acknowledge safe receipt of this one.

 

Yours sincerely
Ray Fox
 
PS.  I have supplied some relevant letters as attachments, including one of the many responses received from MP’S  

REPLY FROM RICHARD WISEMAN

From: richard.wiseman@shell.com <richard.wiseman@shell.com>
Date: Feb 9, 2009 9:19 AM
Subject: RE: Nuclear Contamination Personal Injury
To: raymond.fox@sky.com
 
Dear Mr Fox

The first point to make is, as I have told Mr Donovan repeatedly, the fact that I do not always comment on a particular allegation cannot be taken as confirmation that the allegation is accepted; this also applies to allegations you make.  If Mrs Fox ever thought I had been rude to her, I apologise.  I always try to be civil to people I am dealing with.

Mr Donovan has repeatedly misrepresented what I said about a smoke detector.  I never said that a smoke detector had been the cause of any radioactive pollution. This is what I actually said in my email of 24 November 2008:

For the record I can confirm that Shell has never engaged in any activity in the UK which has created nuclear contamination and there is no bunker at the former Shell terminal in Early – nor has there ever been.  

I exclude from this confirmation contamination from minor incidents such as, hypothetically,  the disposal in ordinary waste of a smoke detector, but I assume that this is not what you have in mind and I can assure you that these exceptions would never have represented the material risk you and Mr Fox are complaining of.

Your “Open Letter” does not add anything to your long-standing assertions, nor does your email of 8 February.  All of these assertions have either been dealt with, or are too vague to respond to.  In the circumstances therefore I have nothing to add to what I have already written.

I will of course respond to anything new you want to bring to Shell’s attention.

Regards

Richard Wiseman

Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer
Royal Dutch Shell plc
Shell Centre, London SE1 7NA

Registered in England and Wales number 4366849
Registered Office:  Shell Centre, London, SE1

Headquarters: Carel van Bylandtlaan 30, 2596 HR
The Hague, The Netherlands

Email: richard.wiseman@shell.com
Internet: http://www.shell.com <http://www.shell.com/>  

RESPONSE FROM RAY FOX

From: Raymond Fox <raymond.fox@sky.com>
Date: Feb 10, 2009 9:27 PM
Subject: REVISED EMAIL REPLACING VERSION SENT EARLIER TODAY
To: richard.wiseman@shell.com
 
REVISED EMAIL REPLACING VERSION SENT EARLIER TODAY

Dear Mr Wiseman

Though Mrs Fox might accept your apology – I cannot speak for her – personally I cannot forgive your heartless indifference to the life threatening medical predicament I was in at the time. It is obvious from this correspondence that nothing has changed, just your job title.

Despite the fancy job title and the references in your June 2008 speech to Shell’s claimed principles of honesty, transparency, integrity and respect for people, your actions are still those of a hard-nosed lawyer dodging straightforward questions, thereby continuing the long running cover up of events at Earley.

If you had the slightest regard for transparency you would have owned up to the serious pollution of the River Loddon (flowing into the River Thames) as a result of the discharge of grossly polluted surface water from the Shell Earley Terminal.  The relevant correspondence between Shell and the Thames Water Authority is attached. At no time in any of the extensive correspondence did you mention this significant relevant event in the environmental history of the site, which also involved drainage. What else has Shell failed to disclose?

Why are you trying to distract by talking about the hypothetical disposal of a smoke detector when there is historical proof of serious gross pollution from the Terminal leading to complaints by members of the public and an investigation by Thames Water Authority? Note that Shell undertook to “reduce pollution”, not to prevent pollution from draining away from the Shell Terminal across other peoples property, without doubt including my former home. God knows how long the contamination had been building up as a result of the broken sewer. It is obvious that Shell is never going to come clean on the subject.

You have also completely ignored questions about the involvement of the MOD and/or the UK Atomic Energy Authority in relation to the Earley Terminal.  The same applies to Shell’s involvement in the oil-for-arms Saudi/BAe scandal in which arms shipments, including weapons involving nuclear material, are said to have passed through the Earley Terminal.

Returning to the hypothetical smoke detector, not being a lawyer, I can only use plain commonsense to try to decipher your comments on the subject. When this correspondence is published readers will be able to make their own judgement on the alleged misrepresentation. I would describe the hypothetical smoke detector as a smoke screen tactic on your part.

There is a total absence of transparency and honesty about events at the former Shell Terminal, which could have a bearing on the exceptionally high levels of radioactivity in the immediate locality, on land shamefully sold by Shell for the Amber Close housing development after the soil was decontaminated on at least three separate occasions.

Testing for radioactive substances material found in and under my family home and drains was cunningly omitted from any investigations/reports carried out on behalf of Shell whereas the independent report commissioned by BBC Radio 4 found some of the highest levels of plutonium and uranium contamination ever recorded in Britain. Dr Busby actually narrowed down the origin of the uranium element to nuclear reactor or weapons grade material. Hence the white worms and the dying trees and plants in my garden which you callously described as my horticultural problem.

Under all of these circumstances, Shell can rightfully be described as evil, in fact a toxic neighbour from hell.

Yours sincerely
Ray Fox

Attached Correspondence (updated)

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