The gamma radiation emitted by a nuclear reactor core might contain information about the reactor state. This information may be used in a monitoring system for severe accidents. The Technische Universität Dresden and the Zittau/Görlitz University of Applied Sciences are currently carrying out feasibility studies for the development of such a system in a collaborative effort. As one part of such feasibility studies we performed Monte Carlo simulations on a simplified model of a generic pressurized water reactor. For a set of states which represent scenarios of a coolant level decrease and core melt, the gamma radiation distribution outside the reactor pressure vessel has been computed. The results are presented in this paper.
They indicate that different coolant levels yield different gamma radiation distributions, and that an accumulation of corium inside the lower head is detectable from the outside.