To ensure the core status can meet the requirements of thermal limits, stability and other constraints during the power ascension process of a nuclear power plant, operators usually gradually increase power based on onsite measurements and experience. To reduce the operator's burden, this research develops a method to find an optimal power ascension path that can be followed by operators. The power ascension path is formulated as a multiobjective optimization problem with the following constraints: power ascension time, thermal limits, core stability and maximum rod line. A genetic algorithm is adopted to obtain the optimal power ascension path. The results show that using our approach full power can be achieved quickly, while maintaining reasonable margins of thermal limit and stability, in addition to satisfying maximum rod line criteria.