Gérard Mourou has already won a Nobel for his work with fast laser pulses. If he gets pulses 10,000 times faster, he says he can modify waste on an atomic level. If no solution is found, we're already stuck with some 22,000 cubic meters of long-lasting hazardous waste.
Mourou was the co-recipient of his Nobel with Donna Strickland for their development of Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA) at the University of Rochester. "We think that in 10 or 15 years’ time we will have something we can demonstrate. This is what really allows me to dream, thinking of all the future applications of our invention."
It would be good news, though, as then we'd really only have the operational risk of a nuclear power station. Protecting all the waste is already a very expensive and hazardous business.
See Lasers could cut lifespan of nuclear waste from "a million years to 30 minutes," says Nobel laureate
Physicist plans to karate-chop them with super-fast blasts of light.