There were a number of good comments, as usual. Let me first correct a mistake. I said that "reprocessing [spent nuclear fuel] produces as a byproduct plutonium, which is readily convertible to nuclear bomb material." The second part of the sentence is correct, but not the first. The spent fuel from the operation of the ordinary nuclear reactor contains plutonium; that is why on-site storage is so problematic from the standpoint of terrorist threats: plutonium is present wherever spent fuel is stored. The plutonium in spent fuel can be recycled into a fuel for nuclear reactors, and this might seem the solution to the disposal problem, but there are special safety concerns and the reprocessing itself produces considerable radioactive material as a byproduct. For a compact description, see pages 106-108 of the MIT nuclear-power study that I cited in my original posting.
I should also have mentioned that while creating a nuclear waste dump in lieu of on-site storage would alleviate the problem of stealable plutonium stored on site, it would not solve it. And this for two reasons: plutonium would remain stored on site awaiting shipment to the dump; and trucks carrying the plutonium to the dump are potentially vulnerable to being attacked. Notice also that the more frequent the shipments, the smaller the amount of plutonium that will remain stored on site but the more potential interceptions of the traffic between site and dump there will be.
A further point to add to my original discussion is that if greater use of nuclear power resulted in a fall in the demand for oil, this would have the incidental effect of reducing the price of oil. The cost of producing oil varies. As demand grows, higher-cost producers are drawn into the market, and their costs determine the market price. If demand falls, therefore, the highest-cost production will be withdrawn and price will fall. This is true even when the producers collude (the OPEC cartel); other things being equal, when cost falls the optimum monopoly or cartel price also falls, though it remains above the competitive level.
But the effect of a gradual, incremental increase in nuclear power generation on the demand for oil would be modest. And a more important policy goal than reducing the price of oil is reducing our dependence on foreign, especially Middle Eastern, oil. This could be done by a heavy tax on oil, which would reduce the demand for oil much more than a modest increase in nuclear electrical generation would do.
One comment points out that if current unlike older reactor designs are quite safe against the risk of an accidental (as distinct from terrorist-induced) meltdown, this provides an additional reason for building new reactors: replacement of older, dangerous ones.
Most of the comments on my posting, oddly enough, debate global warming, which I had mentioned only in passing. I have discussed the issue at length in my book Catastrophe: Risk and Response (2004), and do not wish to repeat the discussion here. Suffice it to say that while there are skeptics, there is also a strong scientific consensus that global warming is an increasingly serious problem to which human activities, mainly the burning of fossil fuels and the clearing of forests by fire, both being activities that emit substantial quantities of carbon dioxide, a major "greenhouse gas" and one that indirectly increases another greenhouse gas--water vapor in the atmosphere--are contributing significantly. The point to emphasize in relation to the nuclear-power issue, however, is that the contribution of expanded use of nuclear power to generate electricity to alleviating the global-warming problem would be small because nuclear power at present generates only about 20 percent of the world's electricity and expansion of nuclear power would be gradual and of course would not affect the contribution to global warming of other activities besides the generation of electricity, such as automobile traffic. Moreover, because the effect of emissions of carbon dioxide on the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is cumulative except in the very long run, merely reducing somewhat the current rate of emissions would not reduce, but would merely slow the rate of growth of, atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide.