Among the reasons anti-Nuclear groups have against the addition of nuclear power capacity, nuclear waste and safety are among the top. However, when considering nuclear as a clean source of electricity, we should compare the safety and waste issues of nuclear power plants to those of coal-fired power plants.
The production of electricity through nuclear fission creates low-level, medium-level, and high-level waste. The low-level waste makes up about 90% of all nuclear waste and is safe enough to be handled and buried. Medium-level and high-level waste make up the remaining 7% and 3% of nuclear waste respectively. The medium-level is only slightly more radioactive than the low-level. The high-level waste is the only waste that must be stored for a very long time, 1000 years or more before it returns to a radioactivity level equal to that of the original uranium used in the process. With such a small amount of the waste being high-level, storing this waste does not seem to be a huge problem. For example, in the UK, with a population of 60 million, the high-level waste created by the UK’s 10 nuclear power plants equates to only about 25ml per person per year of high-level waste that needs to be stored. Compare this to coal-fired powered plants in the UK that create about 40 liters of ash per person per year .
The carbon footprint for building a nuclear power plant is also smaller than that of a coal-fired power plant. Building a 1 GW nuclear power plant leaves a carbon footprint of 300,000 tons of CO2. Assuming a 25 year life span, the IPCC estimates that the total carbon intensity of a nuclear power plant including construction, fuel processing, and decommissioning is 40 g CO2 / kWh(e), compared to 400 g CO2 / kWh(e) for a coal-fired power plant.
As for safety, coal plants average 1.1 deaths per year per GWh, where nuclear plants average about 0.5 deaths per year per GWh.  Both of these numbers include the casualties involved in the mining process.
With no carbon emissions during electricity production and only a fraction of the waste and total carbon footprint over the plant lifetime than that of coal plants, nuclear power should be able to withstand resistance from anti-nuclear groups and become a viable, long-lasting source of clean electricity.
 Greenpeace International and European Renewable Energy Council (January 2007). Energy Revolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook
 McKay, David JC., Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air.
 Sims et al., Climate Change 2007.
 http://world-nuclear.org/info/inf04.html, Radioactive Waste Management.
 http://physics.ohio-state.edu/~wilkins/energy/Companion/E20.12.pdf.xpdf, Comparing nuclear and fossil-fuel energy risks