The repair of potentially lethal damage (PLD) in stationary-phase V79 Chinese hamster cells, which was expressible by a postirradiation treatment with hypertonic (0.5 M NaCl) phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), was analyzed within the framework of the theory of dual radiation action. The interaction function γ(x) was estimated for cells permitted to repair PLD for various intervals of time. The experimental data indicated that 50-60% of the lethal lesions produced at the time of irradiation were repaired in 120 min. The repair of PLD was implicitly involved in the probability of the interaction of sublesions. That is,$g(x,t_{{\rm rep}})$ was defined as the probability that two sublesions separated by distance x interact to produce a lethal lesion which will not be repaired until the fixation by treatment with hypertonic PBS at time$t_{{\rm rep}}$ after irradiation. It is concluded that the time dependence of the repair of PLD is not independent of the interaction distance x. Three conclusions are drawn: (1) The repair of a lesion produced by a long distance interaction is not detectable by postirradiation treatment with hypertonic PBS. (2) A lesion produced by a short distance interaction is rapidly repaired in about 20 min. (3) A lesion produced by the interaction of sublesions separated by a distance of about 100 nm is repaired slowly.

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