Frank Saunders: Former Nuclear Innovation Institute CEO dies suddenly

All of us who work at the Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII) were shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden death over the weekend of Frank Saunders, NII’s first chief executive officer and president. 

Frank was a builder in the nuclear industry who believed that nuclear energy should play a leading role in creating a better future for Canadians. That belief guided him throughout his long, successful career at Bruce Power, and he brought that conviction to NII as its founding president. 

Establishing NII was a lasting expression of Frank’s commitment to the industry and to creating greater opportunities for people to learn and work in our rural communities. After retiring last November, he remained active with NII as a Member of its Board of Directors, as well as focusing on advancing Small Modular Reactor technology in Canada and continuing as Chair of the Canadian Nuclear Association.

“As his successor at NII, I had the benefit of Frank’s generosity with his time and extensive knowledge. Though he often joked about ‘being retired,’ he was anything but, and I came away from every conversation with Frank having learned something new, and deeply impressed by the wide range of things that animated him,” says Bruce Wallace. “We are dismayed at his too-early passing and extend our deepest condolences to his family.”

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Bruce Wallace, President and CEO
Nuclear Innovation Institute


Francis Saunders, Frank to his friends and family, was born in Miramichi, NB on April 4, 1954 and suddenly passed away on Saturday July 4, 2020 at Markdale Hosppital.

Beloved husband of Sherrill Saunders. Loving father of Stacey and Jason and grandfather to Connor. Frank will be remembered by his brother Leslie and his sisters Linda and Diane. Predeceased by parents Roy and Anna Saunders of Millerton.

During Frank’s career he worked in the Nuclear industry as the VP of Nuclear Oversight and Regulatory Affairs at Bruce Power. Most recently he served as President of the Ontario Nuclear Innovation Institute. Frank recently semi-retired and was enjoying his time in the woods working on the retirement property he shared with his wife of 46 years and their dogs, Jackson and Gracie.

Due to the pandemic, the family will be having a private service. In memory of Frank, if desired, a tree planting in a conservation area of your choice would be appreciated. Condolences for the family may be arranged through May Funeral Home, 63 Main St. East, PO Box 423, Markdale, ON N0C 1H0 (519-986-3310)