The elastic-plastic stress distribution of a solid disk due to nonuniform heat source under external pressure is investigated in this work. The nonuniform heat generation rate (q) over dot(r) is taken to be a function of the radial position in the form (q) over dot (r) = q(0)[1 - n(r/a)](s)], where a denotes radius of the solid disk; q(0), n and s are constants. The exact solution presented is based on the usual assumptions of plane stress, Tresca's yield condition, its associated flow rule and linear strain hardening material behaviour. According to this analysis, the plastic core in the general case consists of three parts with different forms of the yield condition. The present solution is illustrated by numerical results and is compared with uniform heat generation case. This work provides the basis for a comprehensive investigation of the influence of nonuniform heat generation. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.