Welding residual stresses can significantly impact the performance of structural components. Tensile residual stresses are of particular concern due to their ability to cause significant degradation to the PWSCC resistance of structural materials. The contour method is a residual stress measurement technique capable of generating two dimensional maps of residual stress, which is particularly useful when applied to welds due to the complex residual stress distributions that generally result. The two-dimensional capability of the contour method enables detailed visualization of complex weld residual stress fields. This data can be used to identify locations and magnitude of tensile residual stress hot-spots. This paper provides a summary of the contour method and presents detailed results of contour method measurements made on the dissimilar metal weld region of pressurizer relief nozzles removed from the cancelled WNP-3 plant in the United States as part of the NRC/EPRI weld residual stress (WRS) program [1].

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