I wanted to take a moment for all of us to give the respect these individuals deserve. The Fukushima Fifty stuck to their posts until the very end, despite enormous and growing risks. To this point in the story, they have remained anonymous, 'workers', in a whole slew of passive sentences—about pumps, coolant systems, fires, containment buildings and fuel rods.
They have joined a small group of human beings who have shown the strength to face a disaster of this magnitude. Even before these latest developments, and forced evacuation, theirs seemed like a suicide mission. I hope their stories turn out better than those of their brethren.
Updated: There are conflicting reports now—perhaps that the workers are returning to the plant after a brief time away. I remain even more grateful.
If the workers have to be evacuated from the plant, the next line of defense is the military—primarily at this point the US Navy. A thank you to the military families, who have already seen their family members head towards this danger.