Nuclear reactors for "energy" were most likely part of the bigger lie. They were most likely built to provide weapons. After Russia got rid of a lot of their nukes, they are now down to something like "only" 700 or so. Whoo-who!
If you enrich uranium to 235, you need SEVERAL centrifuges to do so, all working hard to get at the goodies. Lots and lots of refining. Then, Bingo! you have enough for a single warhead. So, a large industry was built around all of this.
You are correct, we are stuck with it, and yes, most people are not aware of it and don't see any reason for doing anything about it.
The BIGGEST farce with these plants is how a $1 billion plant ends up being a $5 billion plant -- all the while the original budget for the $1 billion was for 5 megawatts and the final $5 billion plant has the capacity for 1 megawatt (note: not actual figures per see).
So, the people are getting screwed, screwed, screwed, thinking that its "cheap" energy.
That doesn't say anything about dealing with the material, and yes, "don't even get me started" on what it would cost if something goes wrong.
All the best,