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Japan is a nuclear-free zone. The entire fleet of 50 reactors that until 2011 supplied more than a quarter of the country’s electricity are idle after today’s shut-down for maintenance of the last operating unit. For a few Luddite environmentalists, it’s a cause for celebration, but for most Japanese, this is hideous news. There is the technical challenge of keeping the lights on in the coming winter and, worse, the economic burden of buying expensive natural gas to fill the nuclear gap. For the rest of us non-Japanese, it is a reminder of a looming problem. The world needs more energy quickly, and a decade of bad energy policy has left us with inadequate infrastructure and huge bills to pay.