The process for safely confining radio-nuclides is to first burn it to oxidise it and then to mix the ash/powder with silicon to form glass. This then is quite stable and won't leach into the water table because it can be buried in deep mines and will not react with the water.
Another point worth noting is that fuel rods are not now continuous lengths of uranium. The latest designs of uranium use fail safe technology.
Pellets of uranium are inserted in zirconium tubes between Boron pellets. As the Boron becomes too hot, natural expansion forces the uranium pellets apart, lowering the neutron absorption and naturally cutting off the nuclear reaction. This system does not rely upon human intervention. It works to cut off the reaction automatically when a traditional reactor would runaway and suffer a steam explosion.
This is only an example of how classic nuclear power reactors have evolved. One could reasonably say that technology has moved on whilst paranoia about nuclear power hasn't. Not only have traditional designs of nuclear reactors evolved but now there are revolutionary new designs of alternative nuclear reactors such as the ADS, or Accelerator Driven System championed by Carlo Rubbia. This uses fail safe technology, has no moving parts and may be switched on, or off, at will. It does not use Uranium or Plutonium at all and the design is so simple, that runaway nuclear reactions are impossible