The effect of whole-body irradiation with ..gamma.. rays (radiation source /sup 60/Co) at 40 rad and ..beta.. rays (source, a linear accelerator, electron energy 25 MeV) at 43 rad on oxidative phosphorylation in liver and kidney mitochondria was studied in rats. Gamma radiation gradually slowed the esterification of phosphate and respiratory rate during the oxidation of succinate in the liver and kidney mitochondria. The decrease was largest on day 15 after irradiation. However, the P/O ratio did not decrease by more than 10 to 12 percent. Despite the oxidation of glutamate in the mitochondria, respiration, phosphate consumption, and P/O ratio scarcely changed. Irradiation with electrons slowed the rate of oxidation of succinate and glutamate in liver mitochondria within 3 to 7 days. Phosphate consumption decreased at the same time so that the P/O ratio remained unchanged. Beta irradiation had virtually no effect on liver mitochondria. There is a discussion of the mechanism of action of high-energy radiation on the phosphorylation system of the mitochondria.