Nuclear waste as it's commonly considered is a mixture of many radioisotopes with different lifespans. Relatively active isotopes don't last long because their activity means they decay quickly. It's the long lived isotopes that cause the long-term waste problem (the heavy radioactinides).
Originally Posted by Dragonlord
Long story short, there are designs of reactors available which can burn up the long-lived radioacinides leaving only the short-term constituents. We're just not building them. For the life of me, I can't think why - even if we were to shutdown all existing power reactors today we'd still have a big stockpile to deal with and no better way of doing so than to stick them in the ground.
We're in a situation where the most common complaint of anti-nuclear activists is the treatment of waste, and the best option for dealing with it is to construct more nuclear reactors (of a different type).
Don't get me wrong - I wholly support the development of renewables and conservation of energy, but I don't think we can bet the farm on it.