The coordination environment of uranyl in water has been studied using a combined quantum mechanical and molecular dynamics approach. Multiconfigurational wave function calculations have been performed to generate pair potentials between uranyl and water. The quantum chemically determined energies have been used to fit parameters in a polarizable force field with an added charge transfer term. Molecular dynamics simulations have been performed for the uranyl ion and up to 400 water molecules. The results show a uranyl ion with five water molecules coordinated in the equatorial plane. The U-O(H 2O) distance is 2.40 Å, which is close to the experimental estimates. A second coordination shell starts at about 4.7 Å from the uranium atom. No hydrogen bonding is found between the uranyl oxygens and water. Exchange of waters between the first and second solvation shell is found to occur through a path intermediate between association and interchange. This is the first fully ab initio determination of the solvation of the uranyl ion in water.